Ithaca, N.Y. — A federal court has dismissed a 2012 lawsuit filed by former Ithaca police Sgt. Douglas Wright against the city, Mayor Svante Myrick said Tuesday.

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Wright was seeking $10.5 million in payment and claimed he had been wrongfully discriminated against by Ithaca.

Wright, who is white, alleged that the city had promoted racial bias by selecting the IPD’s Marlon Byrd, who is black, for promotion to lieutenant.

Despite his discrimination claim, Wright was among the highest paid city officers and made $113,474 in 2011, according to SeeThroughNY.net.

Mayor Myrick said the following in his statement:

Today, the court held that Wright’s claims were untimely, and in any event lacking in merit, because “there were legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for the decision to promote Byrd over Wright, and Wright has failed to provide record evidence … that these reasons were a pretext for race discrimination.”

This is vindication for the City of Ithaca and particularly for Marlon Byrd. It’s also vindication for our stance to fight hard against all illegitimate claims of discrimination.

You can read more about the backstory relating to Wright’s lawsuit here or here.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.