JeffCo Sheriff's hiring, firing practices under scrutiny for rac - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

JeffCo Sheriff's hiring, firing practices under scrutiny for racial discrimination

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A federal judge says he'll be looking closely at what the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has done to deal with racial discrimination dating back to 1982. Source: WBRC video A federal judge says he'll be looking closely at what the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has done to deal with racial discrimination dating back to 1982. Source: WBRC video
Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale. Source: WBRC video Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale. Source: WBRC video
Ronald Sims (right) and his attorney. Source: WBRC video Ronald Sims (right) and his attorney. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A federal judge wants to know what Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale is doing to deal with racial discrimination.

During a status hearing over the county's consent degree involving hiring and firing practices, U.S District Judge Lynwood Smith said he will now be focusing on the sheriff's office.

The county's hiring and firing is currently under the supervision of court appointed receiver Ronald Sims.

During Thursday's court hearing, plaintiffs in the case said it came to their attention that Sheriff Hale does not have an affirmative action officer to oversee any racial complaints or violations of discrimination law.

Jefferson County has affirmative action officers in place but the question now is whether Sheriff Hale, who is already facing a tight budget, hire another person for the job or use the county's personnel.

Jefferson County commissioner David Carrington says it's a matter that has to be studied.

"It would be a little cumbersome for the county's AA officer to get involved with the sheriff's office. We have a lot of issues we need to deal with. If the judge says it's our responsibility we will accept it and go forward," Carrington said.

Judge Smith told Sheriff Hale's attorney in court to get more engaged and to research what the sheriff has done to deal with racial discrimination going back to 1982, when the original consent decree was signed by Hale's predecessor Mel Bailey.

Hale's attorney Jay Murrill says they were just made aware of the situation on Wednesday but they will address it.

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