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Lawyer For Women Suing Dept. Of Education Speaks Out

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The lawyer for three high-level administrators suing the city Department of Education for $90 million spoke publicly Thursday about their claims.

Davida Perry of Schwartz Perry & Heller

"The bottom line is that he's making hiring decisions based on race and gender, and that's unlawful," said Davida Perry of Schwartz Perry & Heller. "That's a distortion of the New York City Human Rights Law."

"You can't correct discrimination with adding more discrimination."

The $90 million lawsuit filed against School Chancellor Richard Carranza claims the women were demoted in favor of less-qualified minority educators as part of a crusade to make the agency's top management reflect the ethic makeup of students.

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Carranza has said the claims of reverse discrimination and creating a toxic atmosphere for white employees was "absolutely not true."

"We have the truth on our side. Allegations can be made," he added.

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The suit filed by Lois Herrera, Jaye Murray and Laura Feijoo -- three white women and senior administrators who were demoted by Carranza -- tells a different tale. They say they were left by the wayside in Carranza's push to make sure his top staff reflected the fact that 70 percent of city students are minority.

Carranza cleaned house when he took over. Reportedly more than a dozen top-dog superintendents and deputies who served under former Chancellor Carmen Farina were demoted or forced to retire. The suit claims Carranza made his position clear during a June 27, 2018, speech to upper echelon employees at Tweed -- otherwise known as DOE headquarters.

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