Report: City Settled Race Discrimination Suit Against D.A.

Lawsuit says Seth Williams fired a white prosecutor after a leaked story in the Daily News.

District Attorney Seth Williams | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

District Attorney Seth Williams | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

City Hall in 2014 settled a racial discrimination lawsuit aimed at District Attorney Seth Williams, the Daily News reported today.

The suit was brought by MK Feeney, a white female homicide prosecutor who says she was fired in 2011, accused of being “untruthful” in the aftermath of a Daily News cover story about turmoil in the the prosecutor’s office. Her suit said that a fellow homicide prosecutor — a black man, and a member of the same fraternity as Williams — later confessed to leaking the info, but was not fired. That man has since left the D.A.’s office.

“She would not have been fired if she was black. She was not the right color. She was not in the same fraternity,” a source told the paper.

News of the settlement signals new trouble for Williams, who has been under fire in recent months on two fronts. He’s been criticized by City Council for his employment of two lawyers caught up in the “Porngate” scandal. And he’s taken some criticism in the African American community for prosecuting black politicians in a case abandoned by Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who said she dropped the matter because the investigation seemed racially tainted.

The city’s Law Department — which represents the city and its employees when they are sued — settled the suit in February 2014 for $190,000, the Daily News reports. Under the agreement, Williams admitted no wrongdoing. The Daily News received a record of the settlement after making a right-to-know request.

“The office and the D.A. does not make any personnel decisions based on race or gender,” Williams’ spokesman, Cameron Kline, told the paper.

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