Judge awards $850,000 to 8 fired Anderson city workers

A federal judge has ruled the city of Anderson must pay about $850,000 to eight people who were fired when a new mayor took office in 2012.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt comes after a federal jury sided last year with 11 people who filed a lawsuit claiming they were wrongfully fired by Republican Mayor Kevin Smith's administration because they supported the Democratic incumbent in the 2011 city election.

Pratt ordered payments for lost wages, benefits and damages to eight of the workers, the Herald Bulletin of Anderson reported. The jury didn't award damages to the other three.

Smith's attorney argued the workers were fired because they held policy-making or confidential positions or had poor job performance. Smith lost his re-election bid in 2015.

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