St. Paul settles suit with former fire inspector

  • Updated: July 3, 2014 - 8:23 PM

The city of St. Paul and a former fire inspector who says he was the victim of discrimination while on the job have reached a $43,000 settlement, according to city documents made available Thursday.

Carver Isabell, 52, of Plymouth, sued the city in federal court in December, alleging that he was harassed at work and retaliated against because he is black.

The St. Paul City Council is expected to approve the settlement next week.

According to the complaint, Isabell was promoted to fire inspector in 2010 and had a six-month probation period. Initially, his supervisor gave him a satisfactory performance evaluation. But the city’s assistant fire marshal later changed the evaluation to unsatisfactory after allegedly receiving customer complaints. A couple of the people who complained called Isabell a racial epithet.

Isabell was offered an extension of his probation, but he refused to take it and the city fired him. He filed a grievance through his union but was denied a civil service hearing.

For its part, the city said that Isabel had at least 18 written complaints against him during his time as a fire inspector and that he was fired for “legitimate, nondiscriminatory business reasons.”

In the settlement agreement, the city admits no wrongdoing.

Nicole Norfleet

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