Sheriff John Darr sued for gender discrimination - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Sheriff John Darr sued for gender discrimination

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A discrimination lawsuit against Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr is winding down after several employees backed Darr as an upstanding leader.

Darr is accused of showing preferential treatment towards men for promotions.

Two former employees, Donna Tompkins and Joan Wynn, said although they were more qualified for the position of Captain they were passed over because they were women.

The pair filed a civil suit against Darr seeking back pay of about $23,000 each, punitive and compensatory damages.

After a 30 minute panel-style interview, jail commander Dane Collins testified he along with Maj. Randy Robertson, Sheriff Darr, Chief Deputy John Fitzpatrick, and Maj. Mike Massey had all pretty much decided Shafer was best for the job based on his experience.

Collins allegedly told one of the Plaintiff's although Shafer was promoted, he didn't agree with the scoring system. Collins reportedly said Sheriff Darr based promotions on experience opposed to qualification; Collins denied making the comments. 

Plaintiff attorney Edward Buckley stressed Shafer was not qualified for the position due to not meeting the education standard of having a bachelor's degree. Shafer has a high school diploma. The other candidates Wynn, Tompkins, and Lt. William Drury hold master's degrees.   

The defense team requested U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land throw out the case due to lack of evidence.

Judge Land denied their request stating there was genuine evidence in this case that the jury would decide on.

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Friday morning at 9 a.m.

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