Gender discrimination lawsuit continues

By Natalie Fultz

COLUMBUS, GA – In today's motion for equitable relief, Lt. Donna Tompkins and Lt. Joan Wynn will have to wait until next Wednesday to see if Judge Clay Land will reward damages.

“We will talk to our attorneys and go from there and see what they decide and what they think is best, but I feel fine,” Sheriff John Darr says.

“We feel pretty good so far. The judge sent us a signal that I think he wants to make some equitable findings in favor of our clients, so I think that's a good sign,” Edward Buckley says.     

In September, a jury found that gender discrimination may have been a contributing factor when Sheriff Darr didn't promote two female lieutenants.

“I know that I never discriminated against anybody. People that know me know that I've never discriminated against anybody regardless of sex or race and god knows I've never done that,” Sheriff John Darr says.

Judge Land will not be granting back pay as equitable relief since the jury already ruled on it. But the two women are pursuing around $271,000 in attorneys fees as well as promotions.

Although there was only one position available Judge Land says the court needs to attempt to fashion a remedy.   

“There were two people who said Mrs. Tompkins was their favorite after Schafer. There was also testimony, undisputed, that Sheriff Darr had told Joann Wwynn that she would get the promotion. There was also a jury verdict that found both women were denied a promotion, both women were discriminated against,” Buckley says.

Judge Land is giving both sides a chance to reach an agreement, if they cannot he will give his verdict next Wednesday at 10 a.m.


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