Responses filed in Smith v. Chilton County BOE case

Published 2:07 pm Friday, February 8, 2019

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Responses to allegations have been filed in a court case where former employee Allison P. Smith is suing Chilton County Board of Education members that served in the previous term and former Superintendent Tommy Glasscock in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

In the response filed by attorneys Mark Boardman and Clay Carr of Boardman, Carr, Petelos, Watkins & Ogle P.C., Glasscock denies the allegations made by Smith of sex discrimination, invasion of privacy, sexual harassment, negligence in training, retaliation and violating the fair and equal pay laws.

“The Defendant pleads the general issue, denies all material allegations of the Complaint and demands strict proof thereof … The Defendant is innocent of the allegations made against him and denies inappropriate or suggestive comments of a sexual nature to the Plaintiff as alleged in the Complaint,” the document states.

The response filed by attorney Gerald DeWhitt Colvin of Bishop, Colvin, Johnson & Kent for the Chilton County Board of Education states that board members “lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth” for several of the allegations outlined in the initial complaint.

Board of Education members named in the suit include Lori Patterson, Linda Hand,

Joe Mims, Keith Moore, Pam Price, James Shannon and Curtis Smith.

“Defendants admit that plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and received a right to sue letter prior to filing the complaint. Defendants deny that the filing of such charge was timely,” the response states. “… Defendants admit that plaintiff was paid on the salary schedule she agreed to and it approved her to be paid on when she accepted the job but deny that she was due any extra or different pay than she received.”

Both responses state that Smith did not “exhaust administrative remedies” available to her related to issues discussed in the complaint.

“The Board had an appropriate policy against sexual harassment and an adequate procedure to receive and remedy any complaints,” the response states. “The Board exercised reasonable care to prevent and provide corrective opportunities to any harassing behavior but plaintiff unreasonably failed to take advantage of the preventatives or correct opportunities or to otherwise avoid harm.”

Sonya C. Edwards of Edwards Law is representing Smith.

The case was assigned to Judge Emily C. Marks on Jan. 16.

The case is now in the discovery phase, where documents and witnesses will be gathered. This process is expected to last several months.