NEW YORK (CBS 2/AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg says New York City will appeal a ruling that has halted the hiring of rookie firefighters amid test-discrimination claims.

Bloomberg says the judge’s suggestion that the city can pay higher-salaried firefighters overtime instead of hiring more rookies is impractical.

Says the mayor: “The taxpayer will spend only so much.” He says other city agencies could suffer as a result.

He spoke Friday on his weekly radio show on WOR.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis found Wednesday that an entry exam used by the mostly white department was unfair to black and Hispanic applicants. He ordered the city to explain why it wanted to hire new firefighters based on what he called an “invalid test.” Lawyers in New York City have promised to fight the decision made by Judge Garaufis to halt the hiring of 300 new firefighters. The hiring freeze was in effect as of Thursday morning.

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