Appeals panel rules against town in race discrimination case

COMO — A federal appeals panel has upheld the award of $50,000 to former Como police chief Cleve Gale for “emotional distress” after his 2008 firing from the chief’s job.

A federal jury ruled for Gale in 2012. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the verdict June 13, denying an appeal by the town of Como.

The jury found that Gales’ race — he is black — played a factor in his firing, though it was not the only factor.

The 3-2 town board vote to fire Gale was along racial lines with three white aldermen voting to fire him. Gale had served 25 years as police chief.

The federal jury in Oxford, Miss., declined to award Gale back pay.

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