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A Broward County, Fla., man who claimed the Federal Aviation Administration discriminated against him for being white and Jewish will not get his day in court. U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore sided with the agency by granting the government’s request to dismiss the case Monday, thus dealing a serious blow to the six-year crusade by FAA employee Martin Goldenberg. Moore’s ruling was a surprise to both Goldenberg and the U.S. Attorney’s office. Both sides had lined up scores of witnesses and expected a jury to be seated Monday. “I was quite surprised at the ruling,” said Goldenberg’s attorney, William Bransford of Washington, D.C. “We have the option of appealing, but I don’t know what we’ll do yet. We’re still assessing the judge’s ruling.” Bransford said he was especially surprised at the ruling in light of a recent decision by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court agreed that a jury should hear the claims of a white firefighter in Orlando who claims that minorities were given preferential treatment in promotions — even after a district judge dismissed the case. “I thought that case helped us,” said Bransford. Goldenberg, a 10-year FAA employee working in the Miami office, sued the FAA for discrimination based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Goldenberg alleged he was unfairly denied promotions due to a quota system promising 50 percent of promotions to woman and minorities. He also said anti-Semitism is rampant at the FAA and his coworkers — who were to testify — overheard various anti-Semitic remarks about Goldenberg from supervisors. But the government denied the allegations, saying that Goldenberg, who lives in Weston, Fla., did not get promoted because he was not as qualified as other candidates. They labeled the anti-Semitic remarks “nothing more than a loose and irrelevant array of stray comments,” according to court documents. Moore agreed with the FAA, finding the agency’s claim that Goldenberg performed poorly in the interview process “a legitimate, nondisciminatory reason for its actions.” Further, Goldenberg failed to establish that the minority quota system played any part in the FAA’s refusal to promote him, Moore ruled. As to Goldenberg’s charges of anti-Semitism in the FAA, Moore said the “plaintiff has wholly failed to demonstrate that the selecting officers held religious animus, or that such animus played any role the challenged actions.” “The court concludes that, based on the record evidence in its entirety, no rational fact-finder could conclude that defendant’s actions were discriminatory,” said Moore. Aloyma Sanchez, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office, said she was pleased “that the court agreed with the government’s position that there are no material issues of fact that required a trial.”

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