NASCAR fires officials named in harassment lawsuit

Published 11:19 am Sunday, September 21, 2008

DOVER, Del. – NASCAR has fired two officials who had been suspended during an internal investigation into claims made in a $225 million racial discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit against stock car racing’s sanctioning body.

Tim Knox and Bud Moore were fired last week, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Potson said. He declined to discuss the reasons for their dismissal before Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway.

Knox and Moore are accused in Mauricia Grant’s lawsuit of exposing themselves to her, and making graphic and lewd jokes. She worked as a technical inspector for NASCAR’s second-tier Nationwide Series from January 2005 through her October 2007 firing.

NASCAR had placed Knox and Moore on indefinite paid administrative leave in June as it investigated her claims.

Grant, who is black, filed suit earlier that month alleging 23 specific incidents of sexual harassment and 34 specific incidents of racial and gender discrimination during the two-plus years she worked for NASCAR.

Her suit alleges she was fired as retaliation for complaining to her superiors about the way she was treated by co-workers.

Potson said NASCAR has concluded its internal investigation into the lawsuit. NASCAR has denied any wrongdoing.

“We’ve talked to dozens of officials and our personnel,” he said. “That part of it is wrapped up.”

The firings were first reported Saturday by NASCAR Scene.

Dean Duckett, another former technical inspector, filed a complaint this month against NASCAR with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging racial discrimination, a hostile work environment and wrongful termination.

Duckett, who is black, said discrimination started in May 2001 and lasted until NASCAR fired him from his job in the Cup series on Nov. 14, 2007.

He told The Associated Press on Saturday that he would consider a lawsuit if NASCAR refused to offer him his old job back.

Duckett was named in Grant’s lawsuit. Her lawsuit claimed he was reprimanded and then fired last November for using “aggressive language toward a white co-worker.”

Duckett denied harassing Grant, though he acknowledged NASCAR suspended him with pay for two weeks. Duckett was accused by Grant of dumping water on another female official to simulate a wet T-shirt contest.