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Fire district settles 2nd civil rights suit

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HAZELWOOD, MO (AP) – A suburban St. Louis fire department has agreed to pay a former firefighter more than $100,000 to settle a federal civil rights complaint.

The U.S. Justice Department announced an agreement Thursday with the Robertson Fire Protection District in Hazelwood.

Ex-firefighter Steve Wilson filed the complaint in response to what he called retaliation by his bosses. Wilson, who is white, had testified in support of two black colleagues who had lodged their own civil rights complaint against the Robertson district in 2007.

In that case, the fire district agreed to pay $420,000 to Lamont Downer and Ephraim Woods Jr.

Wilson said that after his testimony, he was denied promotional opportunities and subjected to frequent performance evaluations compared to his co-workers. He will receive $107,500.

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