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Jury awards $1.2M to Lincoln firefighter for retaliation

February 20, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A federal jury has awarded $1.2 million to a Lincoln firefighter who claimed the city’s fire department retaliated against him after he reported a female recruit had been harassed.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports firefighter Troy Hurd wasn’t in the Omaha courtroom Tuesday afternoon when the jury announced its decision. Hurd still works for Lincoln Fire and Rescue and was on duty Tuesday.

Hurd filed a formal complaint alleging that firefighter trainer Eddie Mueller treated firefighter Sara Khalil differently because she’s a woman born in Iraq. After the complaint, Hurd says he was passed up for promotions and written up for issues that didn’t lead to discipline for others.

After an investigation, the city concluded the department had retaliated against Hurd, prompting the city to conduct two training sessions and remove the disciplinary actions from Hurd’s file.

At the trial, a city attorney disputed that Mueller, who is now a captain, treated Khalil different and argued the fire department had only been inconsistent in its discipline.

Acting City Attorney Chris Connolly says the city was reviewing its options.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com