Ex-DA to oversee effort to hire black firefighters

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau smiles during a news conference announcing the results of a probe into illegal trading at the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday, April 8, 2008 in New York. (Jason DeCrow)

May 27, 2010 4:05:40 AM PDT
A federal judge in Brooklyn has appointed former longtime New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau as a special master to help force the city to improve the hiring the black firefighters. Judge Nicholas Garaufis blasted the city in his order announcing the appointment of Morgenthau for throwing up roadblocks to ending its discrimination against black applicants for firefighter jobs.

Garaufis ruled in January that the city must revamp its hiring practices to end the discrimination. He found the city had intentionally discriminated against blacks. The New York Fire Department has about 350 black firefighters out of 11,500 total.