Nutter Aide Disputes Finding of Widespread Racism in Phila. Fire Dept.

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Nutter’s top point person at City Hall took issue today with a consultant’s report that pointed to a “racial divide” in the Philadelphia Fire Department.

Nutter chief of staff Everett Gillison (third from left in photo) disputes Berkshire Advisors’ contention that the department is “rife with racial division” (see related story).   He says that doesn’t square with the view of a majority of the 2,100-member department.

“It seemed to be incongruent with the analysis that most of the people — eighty to eighty-five percent of the people — felt that the fire division was a great place to work,” Gillison told the board of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA).

Gillison called the assessment “overly broad.”

“I’m not going to say there’s not racial tension,” he added.  “I live in the city of Philadelphia.  I live in America.”

But Gillison told PICA, the state agency that oversees the city’s finances, that people in the fire department mostly get treated “based on their performance.”

PICA chairman Sam Katz (back to camera in photo) said he was under the impression that the racial complaints were in response to discipline and transfer practices within the fire department rather than interpersonal relationships.

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  • JTS

    The media and the Berkshire report keep calling it racism, when they should be reverse discrimination. Why is that

  • PFD Member

    Wait, part of this report was a survey, participated in by majority of the departmen. (1810 of approx. 2200 members – 82%) That survey found 74.9% of those in the survey(1366 members of 1810 asked) disagreed/strongly disagreed with the statement “Race plays no part in disciplinary decisions”. And, 73.3%91327 of 1810) found to disagree or strongly disagree with the statement that “Race plays no part in hiring practices”. Even if everyone who didn’t do the survey feels different, over half the department feel s race plays a part in hiring and disciplinary practices.

    Tell me again there’s no perception of racism in the fire department?

  • Hulks ter

    Blah blah blah. Playin da race card.

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