Ageism Center of Former Employees' Lawsuit Against Oklahoma County Officials

Tuesday, August 3rd 2010, 5:26 pm
By: News 9

By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A group of long-time employees for Oklahoma County have filed separate lawsuits against the Oklahoma County's Board of Commissioners, Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan and his chief deputy.

The lawsuits also list Oklahoma County's Director of Human Resources as a defendant.

The cases filed in federal court are focused on alleged age discrimination against seven former county employees. Most of the employees had been employed with Oklahoma county for more than 20 years before being terminated.

Joshua Stockton with Brown & Gould is representing all seven of the former employees.

"These seven guys were hard working, dedicated public servants for Oklahoma County. The county itself is liable because they were the employer for these workers, commissioner Maughan, Steve Satterwhite, and Dan Matthews are because they are the three individuals that carried out the harassment, intimidation, and age discrimination," Stockton said.

Maughan denied the allegations and said the employees were terminated with cause.

"I absolutely reject any kind of discrimination in my administration. Racial, age, or otherwise," said Maughan. "The individuals were fired in the midst of allegations that the men may have misused public property. There is still a pending investigation going on with the DA's office in which they face potential criminal prosecution."

The former employees who have filed suit are: Donnie Roper, Reginal Coulter, Melvin Ballard, David Blount, Cyrus Smith, Steven Pattillo, and Danny Lee Chitwood. In addition to age discrimination, the men said they suffered from emotional distress and harassment from Maughan and the others listed in the suit.

Stockton anticipates the trials to take place in the next year.