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

Sheriff John Darr sued for gender discrimination

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A discrimination lawsuitagainst Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr is winding down after several employeesbacked Darr as an upstanding leader.

Darr is accused of showingpreferential treatment towards men for promotions.

Two former employees, DonnaTompkins and Joan Wynn, said although theywere more qualified for the position of Captain they were passed over becausethey were women.

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

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

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

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

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

JudgeLand denied their request stating there was genuine evidence in this case thatthe jury would decide on.

Closingarguments are scheduled to begin Friday morning at 9 a.m.

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