Russell County, AL rights complaint dismissed

PHENIX CITY, AL (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a civil rights lawsuit filed by two Russell County highway department employees who claimed they were harassed and later fired because of race discrimination.

Jimmie Lee Long and Hovet Dixon filed suit in February 2009, claiming the Russell County Commission condoned a scheme involving several county engineers and mid-level supervisors to terminate them on the basis of race.

Both men had worked for the county since 1990 and held supervisory positions. They were fired after disciplinary write-ups.

U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins on Monday granted summary judgment, ruling Long and Dixon had not presented enough evidence to proceed to trial.

County Attorney Kenneth Funderburk said the outcome was what county officials expected.

Plaintiffs' attorney Thomas F. Worthy says his clients are considering an appeal.

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