Report finds discrimination in a Division of Public Utilities

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A shake-up tonight at Richmond City Hall. An internal investigation finds evidence of racism and discrimination in a division within Richmond Public Utilities. The investigation recommended that one employee be fired and another be suspended and transferred. The city will not comment tonight on what action has actually been taken.

Nepotism, racial slurs and harassment...just a few of the problems found at city hall in the Water Distribution Division of Public Utilities. Investigators fault what appears to be a supervisor for failing to act on complaints of racial epithets by white workers, for inappropriately re-assigning workers and for hiring a relative.

The mayor's administration released a 7 page report. It confirms many of the allegations made public one week ago by the NAACP on behalf of 12 city workers.

"This is a case of dehumanization, disrespect, and blatant discrimination against these men." Sa'ad EL-Amin is a former council member, and advocate for the 12 pipe fitters who launched the city's investigation.

The report finds the water distribution division is "unorganized, unpleasant and stressful." And that the casual use of the n-word in the work place is "disparaging and unacceptable."

To correct the problems, the probe recommends mandatory training for all supervisors and managers and diversity training for all employees.

Again, citing personnel restrictions, the city will not comment on what action has actually been taken. Sa'ad El-Amin says the city's actions were not enough. He still plans to file an EEOC complaint and take civil action in federal court on behalf of the workers.

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