NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City says a judge overseeing a discrimination case against the fire department abandoned his neutral role and was preoccupied with press coverage of the proceedings.

City attorneys said in a brief filed in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis should be removed from the case.

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Garaufis appointed an independent monitor last October to oversee the FDNY’s effort to improve diversity in its recruiting. He found the city had failed to ensure that enough blacks and minorities were being hired.

The Justice Department had sued the city on behalf of a black fraternal firefighter organization.

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City attorneys said in the court papers filed Friday that the judge also disregarded “key evidence” and legal principles in his ruling.

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