FIREMEN QUIT OVER FAKE MINORITY CLAIM

Two firefighters accused of falsely claiming along with nine others to be Hispanic to get preferential hiring treatment have resigned. ``Hopefully, this chapter in the Boston Fire Department and city could never be replicated again in terms of someone misrepresenting themselves and getting away with it,'' City Councilman Bruce Bolling said last week.

In 1974, a federal court established a preference for hiring minorities after finding that appointments to the fire department had been based on a discriminatory examination. Then only 1 percent of Boston's firefighters were black or Hispanic compared with 21 percent today.

An investigation began last summer when two fair-skinned twins, who had claimed to be black, were suspended from the fire department. Paul and Philip Malone have told officials that a great-grandmother was black. A hearing on their appeal is scheduled for Wednesday.

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