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Brookline Reaches $11M Settlement With Former Firefighter Gerald Alston

BROOKLINE (CBS) – Former Brookline firefighter Gerald Alston and the town Select Board have reached an $11 million settlement in a public legal battle that's been ongoing since 2010. Town Meeting members will vote on the settlement next month.

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said Alston was wrongfully fired after complaining of a racist work environment at the Brookline Fire Department.

"The agreement recognizes the harm done to Mr. Alston, starting with the racial slur left on his voicemail by a supervisor in 2010 and the response to that incident in the decade that followed," the town Select Board said in a statement Tuesday night.

"This Select Board extends to Mr. Alston our sincere apologies for the Town's mistakes, and our commitment to seriously address racist and other discriminatory behaviors. We appreciate Mr. Alston's service to the Town."

Gerald Alston
Gerald Alston (WBZ-TV)

Town Meeting members will vote on the settlement at a Special Town Meeting on Tuesday, October 5. If funding is not authorized, all parties will return to court.

"The Select Board believes this settlement is the right thing to do for Mr. Alston and in the best interest of the Town of Brookline, and we urge all Town Meeting Members to support funding it," the Select Board said.

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