Atlanta to pay $1.2 million to Christian fire chief
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 10/16/18, 10:57 am
The Atlanta City Council voted Monday to pay $1.2 million to former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who was fired in 2015 over a 162-page book he wrote for men at his church advocating for a Biblical view of marriage and sexuality. The council voted in favor of the settlement 11-3, according to WSB radio. Cochran won a lawsuit against the city and Mayor Kasim Reed late last year. A U.S. District Court ruled that Atlanta’s policies restricting speech outside of work allowed city officials to unconstitutionally discriminate against views with which they disagreed.
Reed, in a letter, had defended the firing, saying Cochran didn’t have permission to write the book, which “required prior approval from the Board of Ethics,” and had compromised his ability to lead city employees who might be homosexual. But an investigation found no evidence that Cochran discriminated against any member of the fire department because of his religious beliefs.
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