More than 200 white firefighters rallied Monday outside a Brooklyn courthouse against the court-ordered fix for the FDNY entrance exam – but a hearing being held inside on the controversy was an almost total bust.

Only 36 of the 180 scheduled speakers showed up to object directly to Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis on the first of four days of hearings.

Garaufis has ordered a variety of solutions to create a more diverse department, including retroactive seniority and priority hiring of 293 minorities.

The judge has blocked out his entire calendar through Thursday for a so-called Fairness Hearing, but he was able to adjourn Monday’s proceeding at 11 a.m. after the list of speakers was exhausted.

The FDNY, which is 89% white, is facing sweeping changes in the way it recruits and hires firefighters in the wake of a federal lawsuit filed in 2007 by the U.S. Justice Department and the Vulcan Society of black firefighters.

In response to the suit, Garaufis ruled that tests given in 1999 and 2002 discriminated against minorities. He junked a third hiring list and made a finding that the city had intentionally discriminated against black and Hispanic FDNY applicants for years.

Source: NYC News


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