Originally created 12/29/00

Former employee sues city, supervisor



A former city employee has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against Augusta and her former boss.

In a Richmond County Superior Court lawsuit filed Tuesday, Gayle C. Scott seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in addition to attorney fees in the civil action filed against Augusta-Richmond County and Betty Griffin, the city's payroll supervisor.

A lawsuit represents only one side of a dispute. Assistant City Administrator Walter Hornsby did not return a telephone call Thursday seeking comment.

Ms. Scott, who is white, alleges in the lawsuit that she filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and received a "right to sue" letter from the federal agency.

Ms. Scott worked as a senior personnel administrator for the city from April 11, 1988, until June 3. Ms. Scott alleges Ms. Griffin, who is black, berated and yelled at her numerous times from April 1998 until she left her job after she reported her suspicions that Ms. Griffin had falsified payroll information.

According to the lawsuit, Ms. Scott contends Ms. Griffin's harassment and higher supervisors' lack of assistance forced her to quit. Ms. Scott further alleges racial harassment of herself and other white city employees.

Ms. Scott also says the city has denied white employees protection from verbal abuse and threats, creating a racially hostile work environment in violation of U.S. laws.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226.