Auburn City Councilman accuses city of alleged discrimination

Auburn City Councilman accuses city of alleged discrimination

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Auburn City Councilman Arthur Dowdell stands behind Native American Auburn firefighter Christopher Turner, who is fighting the city to end alleged discrimination within the fire division.

"He served in the position for two years, why can't he get promoted to lieutenant when he has served in it anyway," explains Dowdell.

At Tuesday's City Council meeting, Dowdell invited Turner's attorney, Julian McPhillips, to come before the council with their concerns.

Dowdell said Turner was promoted to lieutenant and served for two years before being demoted.

"They know he is qualified to be a lieutenant and just because he didn't pass the assessment center, which I'm asking the City Council to due away with because we believe the assessment center is more of a hindrance then it is a blessing to firefighters," says Dowdell

However, city officials claim the accusations are false.

"With regards to the allegations that we have promoted for illegal reason, I would say that's totally false. We have a race neutral hiring a promotion process that we believe and that we support," explains Auburn City Manager, Charlie Duggan.

The city uses an assessment center, a common practice used for fire departments throughout the United States, to hire and promote new positions and they fully believe in the fairness of the process.

"In the past we've face similar allegations and we have prevailed because we believe in doing what is right," says Duggan.

Turner's attorney is threatening to sew the City of Auburn, however, Dowdell says they are holding off in order to give the City one more chance to meet their demands before filing a lawsuit.

"I will testify against a city that I'm city councilman in on behalf of Christopher Turner," says Dowdell, "I believe is racial discrimination and we can prove it."

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