Parma Law Director Freezes All City Hiring

PARMA, Ohio (AP) - Parma officials have frozen city hiring after NAACP complaints that white police candidates were hired over a black candidate who scored higher on a civil service test.

Monday's action comes a month after the Cleveland suburb signed a court-ordered agreement to recruit and hire more minorities. The consent decree ended a 12-year-old jobs-bias lawsuit filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Law Director Tim Dobeck's order canceled the swearing-in ceremony for five firefighter cadets, four who are white and one who is a native of the Philippines, Fire Chief John French said.

The 98-man fire department has no blacks or females, and French said no blacks or women were among the 14 finalists.

The police force has one black patrolman and two women. Parma has two blacks in its 550-member labor force.

Last week, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported that Guy Singleton, 33, of Cleveland Heights, a black man who finished second on the civil service test, was bypassed by lower-scoring candidates on the police exam.

Safety Director Bob Dybzinski said Singleton failed psychological and lie detector tests. NAACP lawyer James Hardiman said he did not accept Dybzinski's claims.

Dobeck said the freeze did not cover the hiring of three policemen last week.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)