At that point, the Federal lawsuit from the minority firefighters was in it's second trip through the Pensacola Federal Court System after Judge Rodger's had been overruled by the Appeals Court for ruling for the City in error.
He had a choice at the time, he could be the hero and take this issue head on. Acknowledge the dismal past of the PFD and heal the current environment. Or he could take someone's sage advice and continue to ignore the racial discrimination of the past at the PFD and punish the parties to the lawsuit.
Did Ashton Hayward attempt to settle the suit to everyone's satisfaction? No!
Did Ashton Hayward put new policies and procedures in place to stop another occurance? No!
Did Ashton Hayward stop a suit that IN NO WAY would effect HIS administration? No!
He kept paying HIS lawyers to fight the case and object on procedural grounds.
Ashton Hayward thought based on his administration's positions in Court that:
- The claims of the black firefighters were "untimely"
- There "was no record evidence to support the remainder of the claims"