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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Washtenaw County ordered to pay in Muslim bias

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Steve Carmody
/
Michigan Radio
The verdict was returned Thursday in Detroit federal court. Attorney Shereef Akeel says Ali Aboubaker was awarded money for lost wages and pain and suffering.

ANN ARBOR – A jury has awarded nearly $1.2 million to a Muslim man who said he was called a terrorist and repeatedly passed over for promotions while working for Washtenaw County.

The verdict was returned Thursday in Detroit federal court. Attorney Shereef Akeel says Ali Aboubaker was awarded money for lost wages and pain and suffering.

Aboubaker worked for Washtenaw County for 17 years until 2008. The native of Tunisia says he was demoted and bypassed for promotions despite having engineering skills and college degrees.

Aboubaker says treatment got worse after 9/11. He says he applied again to become a drain inspector in 2008, but the job went to another employee.

The county denies any bias and says Aboubaker wasn't qualified. The county plans to appeal.