Of roughly 11,000 firefighters in the city, only about 3 percent are black and 4.5 percent are Hispanic.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg testified yesterday that he does not remember receiving a report more than six years ago warning about sharp differences in the passing rates between white and minority candidates for firefighter jobs, a published report said.
Bloomberg gave a three-hour deposition in connection with a federal lawsuit brought by the Justice Department in 2007, The New York Times reported.
Last month, a Federal District Court judge in Brooklyn ruled that entrance examinations for the Fire Department in 1999 and 2002 discriminated against black and Hispanic applicants. A set of claims against the mayor and other city officials is still being heard.
Nicholas G. Garaufis said they must consider remedies to end the discrimination which occurred in written exams given to thousands of firefighter candidates from 1999 to 2007.
The ruling came after the U.S. Department of Justice joined the Vulcan Society, a fraternal order of black firefighters, in a lawsuit against the city and its fire department.
Of the roughly 11,000 firefighters in the city, only about 3 percent are black and 6 percent are Hispanic, fire officials said.
In the New York Police Department, more than 16 percent of officers are black and more than 25 percent are Hispanic.
The city is disappointed and disagrees with the ruling, officials said.