A Bronx jury has ordered Bernard Spitzer, father of former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, to pay more than $1.3 million to four former employees to settle racial discrimination charges.
The plaintiffs, a former doorman and three former porters, worked at a luxury apartment house on Manhattan’s East 57th Street built and owned by Spitzer.
Spitzer had them fired and replaced with lighter-skinned workers, the lawsuit claimed. The doorman also claimed that he was forced to clean toilets with a toothbrush, while a lighter-skinned doorman was spared that assignment.
Spitzer, who is 84, testified that he did not play a role in the hiring and firing of staff at the building. Jeffrey Moerdler, attorney for Spitzer, said in a statement, “There was no evidence showing any discriminatory behavior by Mr. Spitzer. It is difficult to fathom on what other basis the jury may have reached its erroneous verdict.”
Gumley-Haft Inc., the property company that contracted the workers, settled its share of the lawsuit out of court.
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