Woman awarded $2.1 million in KC racial discrimination suit

Friday, April 4, 2008

PLATTE CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Kansas City officials say they plan to appeal a jury's $2.1 million award to a woman who claimed she was passed over for a city judgeship because she's white.

Clay County assistant prosecutor Melissa Howard claimed in a lawsuit filed in Platte County that Kansas City council members wanted to fill the vacancy with a racial minority. Howard was one of three white women who were finalists for the post vacated by Marcia Walsh in 2006.

City officials deny Howard was discriminated against. City attorney Galen Beaufort said that the state law upon which Howard based her claim does not cover appointed officials like judges.

Then-Mayor Kay Barnes and other officials said in late 2006 that they were disappointed with the lack of racial diversity on the list of finalists.

Information from The Kansas City Star: http://www.kansascity.com

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