HUDSON COUNTY -- A federal appeals court ruled Monday that the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue squad's hiring policy discriminates against African-Americans, because it only allows residents of local towns to apply, and local towns are predominantly Latino and caucasian.
The ruling was the latest move in a longstanding dispute over whether the regional department -- which formed by merging five local towns' fire departments in 1999 -- should allow applicants from outside towns.
According to a story on NJ.com, "Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Newark branch of the NAACP, which brought the initial lawsuit in 2007 on behalf of firefighter candidates Allen Wallace, Lamara Wapples, and Altarik White."
The NHRFR covers West New York, Union City, Weehawken, North Bergen, and Guttenberg. Those towns were approximately 70 percent Latino and only 3.4 percent African-American, according to the 2000 Census.
The department has 14 days to appeal.