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Auditor Says Omaha Fired Her For|Truthful Report On Racist Traffic Stops

OMAHA (CN) - Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey fired the city's independent Public Safety Auditor for her truthful reports that police were targeting racial minorities for traffic stops, Tristan Bonn claims in Douglas County Court.

Bonn says that her Oct. 20, 2006 report, "Anatomy of Traffic Stops," "contained an analysis of several traffic stops which the Auditor concluded were racially motivated or handled in a racial manner. The Report was critical of the Police Department's practices as applied to minority individuals and communities. The Report also raised the issue that disproportionate issuances of misdemeanor citations to minority drivers stopped for alleged traffic violations may have and have had resulted (sic) in an adverse impact on the pool of minority applicants available to work for the Omaha Police and Fire Departments, thereby resulting in discriminatory employment practices, violating both federal and state law."

She says that in response, the mayor's chief of staff Paul Landow told her that "he and the Mayor were 're-evaluating' the plaintiff's employment." The mayor fired her four days later, effective immediately, she says.

Bonn says the mayor fired her on the pretext that she had been "insubordinate."

She sued the city, the mayor and his chief of staff.

She demands lost wages and benefits and damages for pain and suffering, alleging retaliation, wrongful firing and constitutional violations. She is represented by Brent Nicholls.

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