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Published: Friday, 3/9/2007

Fired Toledo official calls Mayor Finkbeiner a 'racist'

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Perlean Griffin, who was terminated as executive director of Toledo s affirmative action/contract compliance office, today accused Mayor Carty Finkbeiner of being a racist and called for his resignation.

He is running the 22nd floor like a plantation, she said. We cannot have a mayor that is strong against people of color.

The comments were made during a news conference outside One Government Center to address the budget-cutting proposal of Mr. Finkbeiner to move affirmative action under the Department of Human Resources.

Listen to audio of Ms. Griffin's news conference

Listen to audio of Mayor Finkbeiner's rebuttal

At a press conference in his offices, Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner rebuts charges of racial discrimination leveled against him. At a press conference in his offices, Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner rebuts charges of racial discrimination leveled against him.
THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER Enlarge | Buy This Photo

City leaders said the restructuring was made necessary by a $12 million budget deficit in Toledo.

Mr. Finkbeiner later held his own press conference during which he denied that the termination and the restructuring of the two departments was racially motivated. He said the reason Mr. Griffin was opposed to the move was that he believes she has a personality conflict with the head of the city s human resources department, Theresa Gabriel.

The simple truth of the whole issue has nothing to do with anything other than Ms. Griffin s lack of willingness to work in the human resource department because of a personality conflict... the mayor said.

Mr. Finkbeiner terminated Ms. Griffin on Tuesday after she refused to endorse the mayor s budget-cutting proposal involving her office.

Francis Dumbuya, a community activist who spoke at Ms. Griffin s press conference, said a request will be made to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to investigate the city for failing to comply with a 1989 conciliation agreem

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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