Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Eddie Jordan, the first African-American district attorney of New Orleans, started his tenure with a bang: He fired 56 nonlegal employees eight days after he took office in 2003. Of those fired, 53 were white, two were Hispanic and one was black. There had been 136 employees in the office’s support staff, 77 white and 56 black, working under Harry Connick, the previous, long-time New Orleans DA. Earlier this year, Jordan lost a civil suit accusing him of employment discrimination. Decorte v. Eddie Jordan, No. 031239 (E.D. La. 2005). Jordan recently filed a motion to have the decision thrown out, and said that if the motion is not successful, he will appeal. “Race was not a consideration,” Jordan said of the firings. “Why should I be barred from bringing in a person that happens to be black because the person before happened to be white?” The plaintiffs, 43 white former employees of the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, won a jury verdict for $1.9 million in lost wages and other damages on March 30 against Jordan in his official capacity. The final amount, the judge decided, added up to around $2.9 million, not including attorney fees, according to Clement Donelon, the lead counsel for the plaintiffs and a solo practitioner in Metairie, La. Despite Jordan’s recent motion to dismiss, Donelon was confident that the verdict would be upheld. “I think the judgment will be maintained,” said Donelon. “There may be some changes, pluses or minuses on the numbers, but I’m confident that it’ll be maintained.” One in a million According to the statistician who testified for them in the trial, the likelihood of 53 out of 77 white, and two out of 56 black, employees getting fired by chance had a probability smaller than one in a million. Yet Jordan, who was the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana from 1994 to 2001, said that when he was elected DA, he wanted to bring in a new staff that he was familiar with through prior work at the U.S. attorney’s office or on the campaign trail. “My position was that [race] was not a factor,” Jordan said. “And furthermore, that district attorneys have the prerogative of hiring and firing as they see fit, bringing in their own team members.” “In the trial there [were] a number of factors that were set forth, including cost savings, and to bring in persons that I was familiar with,” Jordan continued. “The fact that they were white . . . that was of no concern to me.” To defend his actions, Jordan hired the New York-based consulting firm Linder and Associates Inc. to conduct an audit of his office to compare it with that of the previous administration. According to Jordan, his administration is outperforming the last. Jordan’s attorney, G. Phillip Shuler III, a partner at Chaffe McCall in New Orleans, did not return calls seeking comment on the case.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.