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Hempstead Pays $545k to Settle ‘Hangman’s Noose’ Case

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New York Civil Rights Attorney Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., announces that a settlement has been reached between the parties  
May 16, 2012 (New York-NY) – Assistant Chief Willie R. Dixon says that he is pleased that he is finally vindicated.

Dixon, who is African-American and a well-respected lifelong resident of the Village of Hempstead, rose through the ranks of the Hempstead Police Department to become the highest ranking person of color within its 120 member agency.  In 2007, then Deputy Chief Dixon was also the highest ranking person of color of any local law enforcement agency located throughout Nassau and Suffolk County. In 2008, then Deputy Chief Dixon was promoted to Assistant Chief.

Assistant Chief Dixon’s claims of race discrimination arose after the highly publicized ‘Hangman’s Noose’ incident.  Assistant Chief Dixon claimed that during his tenure there were a number of baseless allegations related to serious misconduct made against him by former Chief Joseph B. Wing but, after all criminal and internal reviews, he was cleared of any wrongdoing and forced to retire as a Lieutenant in “Good Standing.”

After discovery was completed earlier this past April, the parties were headed to trial that was scheduled to commence on June 4, 2012.  After some intense negotiations, the parties were able to reach an amicable settlement.
Under the terms of the settlement, Assistant Chief Dixon will receive:

  • $425,000.00 lump sum payment
  • $120,803.66 increase in separation pay from the rate of Lieutenant to Assistant Chief
  • Change in retirement status from Lieutenant in “Good Standing” to Assistant Chief in “Good Standing” and
  • Change of police identification card from Retired Lieutenant in “Good Standing” to Retired Assistant Chief in “Good Standing”

Sanders said that although the management routinely violated federal and state Civil Rights Laws by failing to take appropriate action to ensure that the workplace is diverse, free of discrimination and reflective of the community it serves, they ultimately did the right thing and made Assistant Chief Dixon a dedicated long time employee and resident of the Village of Hempstead whole.
Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., filed suit on August 4, 2010.  The name of the case is: Willie R. Dixon v. The Incorporated Village of Hempstead, et al., Docket No.: 10 cv 3577 (LDW)(ARL), filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
The Sanders Firm, P.C., is a nationally recognized law firm located in New York, N.Y., serving clients’ throughout the five (5) boroughs of the City of New York Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island as well as Nassau, Orange, Suffolk and Westchester Counties focused on cases involving Civil Rights, civil service law and immigration rights.

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