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[PUBLISH]

Before TJOFLAT, ANDERSON and COX, Circuit Judges.

In 2001, DeKalb County, Georgia embarked on a wholesale plan to replace its white county managers with African Americans. Three white managers, Becky Kelley, Michael Bryant, and John Drake, proceeding under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, sued the county’s Chief Executive Officer, Vernon Jones, who devised the plan and monitored its execution, and three subordinates who assisted him, Marilyn Boyd Drew, Morris Williams, and Richard Stogner, for discriminating against them on account of their race in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981*fn1 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. A fourth manager, Herbert Lowe, an African American, also joined the suit, alleging that the defendants retaliated against him because he refused to assist them in carrying out Jones’s plan of racial discrimination.

 
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