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Lawsuits by 2 Ex-employees at Oklahoma Jail Settled (Dec 09, 2010)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office has settled six lawsuits filed by black ex-Tulsa Jail employees who alleged racial discrimination.

Court documents indicate the county has paid a total of $60,000 to two of the former employees, and payments to the other four are pending. A seventh case is scheduled for trial.

Assistant District Attorney David Iski told the Tulsa World that settling the cases was a prudent use of taxpayer dollars, but he says officials deny any discrimination occurred.

In federal court documents, the workers allege they were treated differently and less favorably than white employees; were denied promotions and transfers for which they were eligible and were subject to racially hostile language.

Daniel Smolen, the plaintiffs' attorney, and Undersheriff Brian Edwards declined comment, citing a confidentiality agreement.

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