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Mayor Steven Grant says city ready to settle mural lawsuit

Latosha Clemons sues after face 'whitewashed' from mural
Posted at 11:35 PM, Oct 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 23:41:56-04

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The mayor of Boynton Beach said Tuesday that city leaders appear ready to settle a lawsuit after a mural controversy.

"We're going to end discovery by settling," Mayor Steven Grant said.

Grant said it's a decision made after a closed-door meeting with commissioners

What they're settling is a lawsuit filed on behalf of Latosha Clemons, the city's first former Black deputy fire chief.

"Instead of what could have been a really nice tribute and memorial, right, it actually turned out to be a slap in the face," her attorney, Arthur Schofield, said prior to the meeting.  

Schofield said she was one of two Black firefighters whose faces were removed from a mural honoring the city's history. Clemons spent decades serving the city.

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Both firefighters' faces were replaced with white faces. Clemons spoke about the pain it caused her in an interview last year.

"I was hurt, I was disappointed and then I was outraged," Clemons said.

She filed a lawsuit against Boynton Beach earlier this year.

A new version of the mural was later unveiled.

"For someone who has been with the city as long as she has or was and has given so many years of her life to that community, to have that depiction whitewashed that way was a very hurtful moment for her," Schofield said. 

Grant said he will announce the decision to settle at the next city commission meeting on Oct. 19.