“Plaintiff argues that the changes to the vacancy notice regarding college graduation indicate the City’s true intent, which he claims was to hire a black police chief. Plaintiff contends that the vacancy initially required applicants to graduate from a four-year university or college but was later changed so that African–Americans would qualify. …. Plaintiff further contends that the selection process for police chief was tainted because the Mayor helped screen applications. When asked during deposition, the Mayor denied being involved in the initial screening process. Smith Dep. [34–1] at 6. The Chief Operations Officer testified at deposition that he made the decision to cut Plaintiff at the initial screening and that the Mayor was not involved in the decision. Armstrong Dep. [34–2] at 5. However, Plaintiff submits a newspaper article from the relevant time period stating that the Mayor helped screen applications. See Doc. [40–7]. Whether or not the Chief Operations Officer decided to cut Plaintiff’s application, he reported to the Mayor and so did other officials involved in the selection process for the new police chief. The Mayor was included in the hiring process but was unable to vote for a candidate. Smith Dep. [34–1] at 8–9. The City Council consisted of six members, four were African–American and two were Caucasian. Karriem Dep. [34–6] at 4. The two Caucasian councilmen voted against hiring McQueen, and the four African–American councilmen voted in favor of hiring him. Id. at 6. …. This rebuttal evidence, when viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, calls into question the City’s proffered reason for not promoting or further considering Plaintiff for police chief.”
Harstad v. City of Columbus, Miss., 2014 WL 4913966, at *7–8 (N.D. Miss. Sept. 30, 2014) (Brown, J.).