Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Beware The Giant Halloween Tick

I later decided our Halloween door decor wasn't scary enough, so I added a Hillary In '08 button to the mix. I really should warn my dad in case he drops by.

1 comment:

Trackboy1 said...

Speaking of Hillary...

Beckey Kelley is currently the first female chief of Georgia State Parks. She's a role model and trailblazer in a male dominated profession. She's not one to bring a federal lawsuit, while running a large state department, without some pretty damn good cause.
This is bad news stuff...


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/02/07

DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones and his top aides created a hostile work environment through intimidation and humiliation to bring a "darker administration" to the county, a lawyer told a federal appeals court Friday.

The executives decided they would not fire white managers and replace them with blacks because that would be blatantly illegal, attorney Chris Anulewicz said. Instead, he said, Jones and his top aides did "whatever else it takes to make them quit."

Anulewicz asked a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a judge's ruling a year ago that allowed a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit to go to trial. The suit was filed by current and former parks employees against Jones, executive assistant Richard Stogner, parks director Marilyn Boyd Drew and assistant administrator Morris Williams. The court is expected to issue its ruling next year.

Lawyers for the county defendants urged the court to throw out the lawsuit.

Brent Wilson, who represents Jones, disputed the plaintiffs' allegations and said the DeKalb CEO's conduct was not unconstitutional. Jones, who is running for the U.S. Senate, did not directly supervise any of the plaintiffs, Wilson noted.

Even if the court were to assume Jones's actions rose to the level of a constitutional violation, Wilson argued, the CEO should be shielded by qualified immunity. This doctrine protects public officials from liability unless it is shown they violated clearly established laws or rights that a reasonable person should have known.

Rob Remar, a lawyer for the other county officials, said the allegations "simply do not rise to the level of a hostile work environment."

But Judge Lanier Anderson noted that the plaintiffs' allegations "paint a picture there was widespread racial motivation to eliminate white managers and promote black managers." That might give rise to a hostile work environment, Anderson said.

Anulewicz said there is overwhelming evidence to show there was a plan to harass and discriminate against white managers. "There is evidence that each and every one of these people knew what was going on."

The suit was brought by former parks director Becky Kelley, deputy director Michael Bryant, assistant director John Drake and former deputy director Herbert Lowe. Lowe, the only black plaintiff, claims he was fired for refusing to discriminate against white managers.

Anulewicz said what happened to Kelley was particularly demeaning. In 2002, she was removed as parks director and reassigned to the Greenspace program.

Kelley, who once oversaw a $20 million budget and more than 600 employees, was relegated to a position with no budget and no oversight over any employee. "She did what my 2-year-old does in pre-school — coloring maps," Anulewicz said.