On February 1st, 1978, the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") filed an employment discrimination lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas against the State of Arkansas. Documents including the complaint are unavailable until 2001.
The complaint against the State of Arkansas and Directors and Commissioners of the Arkansas State Police Department ("ASPD" alleged that the defendants had engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful employment discrimination against African-Americans and women on the basis of race and sex. That same day, a Consent Decree was entered between the United States and the State of Arkansas, the purpose and intent of which was to ensure that African-Americans and women are not disadvantaged by the hiring, promotion, assignment and other employment policies and practices of the ASPD.
On September 27th, 1991, African-American employees of the ASPD filed a class action complaint against ASPD, engaging that ASPD had engaged in unlawful employment discrimination against them and other African-American State Troopers. (See Tappin v. Arkansas State Police Department, 4:91cv627). By way of relief, the plaintiff sought the enforcement of the 1978 Consent Decree in this case. The two actions were consolidated and class action status was granted. On October 6th, 1995, a Settlement Agreement similar to the 1978 Consent Decree was approved
On November 24th, 2003, a joint motion was entered by the plaintiff and defendants to modify the Consent Decree.
On September 22nd, 2004, the District Court (Judge Susan W. Wright) granted the motion to modify the Consent Decree and stated that the Consent Decree would remain in effect for two years from the date of the Order.
The Consent Decree expired on September 23rd, 2006, and the DOJ closed the case. The case thereafter proceeded solely pursuant to the Tappin Settlement Agreement.
On August 4th, 2006, plaintiffs filed a Motion for Extension of Tappin Settlement Agreement, alleging that there have been violations of the Settlement Agreement concerning adverse impact to African-American troopers in the implementation and utilization of polygraph and written entrance exams. ASPD opposed this motion, and filed Defendant's Renewed Motion to Terminate the Court's Supervision of the Tappin Settlement, claiming that the terms had been met.
On November 21st, 2006, the District Court (Judge Susan W. Wright) held a hearing on Defendant's Renewed Motion to Terminate the Court's Supervision of the Tappin Settlement Agreement and plaintiffs' Amended Motion for Enforcement of Tappin agreement. On March 28th, 2007 the Court (Judge Susan W. Wright) entered an order granting the Defendant's Renewed Motion to Terminate the Court's Supervision of the Tappin Settlement Agreement.
On September 5, 2007, the District Court denied the plaintiff's motion for attorneys' costs and fees. United States v. State of Arkansas, 2007 WL 2609583 (E.D.Ark. 2007).Jennifer Hau - 11/27/2007