Mass. city loses discrimination appeal

Aug. 16, 2011 at 3:42 PM
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The long legal fight by Cambridge, Mass., officials against a racial discrimination case has made the ultimate verdict more expensive, a lawyer says.

Ellen Zucker, who represents Malvina Monteiro, told The Boston Globe the city will have to pay more than $10 million. In 2008, a jury ruled Monteiro had been a victim of discrimination and awarded her $4.5 million.

An appeals court upheld the decision Monday. Zucker said the $10 million figure includes lawyers' fees, court costs and interest.

The case began in 1998 when Monteiro, a native of Cape Verde and executive director of the Police Review and Advisory Committee, filed a racial discrimination complaint with the state Commission Against Discrimination. In her lawsuit, Monteiro said Robert Healey, the city manager, and other officials engaged in systematic retaliation for the complaint.

Monteiro, who is now in Cape Verde, said she resigned in 2003 because she knew she was about to be fired.

"This is obviously a very gratifying result, and the victory belongs to my client Malvina Monteiro, who for years stood up for what is right and who had the courage to call the city out on its conduct,'' Zucker said.

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