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More suits filed against Rockville City

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Published on: Thursday, June 13, 2013

By Holden Wilen

ROCKVILLE – While the mayor and city council are busy arguing about parking lots and trees and the city manager continues to search for a new human resources director, two former employees who spoke to the Sentinel previously have filed lawsuits against the city claiming discrimination.

Donald Dorsey, a utility worker, and Courtney Morgan, a former chief of inspection services for the city, filed separate lawsuits claiming acts of discrimination by their supervisors. Dorsey filed his lawsuit in the Montgomery County Circuit Court in March, and Morgan filed his lawsuit in April before it was moved to the U.S. District Court on May 15.

Dorsey told the Sentinel in August about his complaints of an employee, supervisor Robby Curtis, coming to work wearing a confederate flag hat and supervisor favoritism in choosing employees for overtime work.

In the complaint filed with the Circuit Court, Dorsey claims he notified the city’s human resources department several times and told Assistant Superintendant Brian Plymale he was not getting any call-back work assignments, but the city did not follow up on his complaints.

On Nov. 5, three months after talking to the Sentinel, Dorsey claimed in a complaint that his truck was vandalized in white paint and work-related disparaging remarks because he spoke out about discrimination. Dorsey notified the city of the alleged vandalism, but again the city did not follow up on his complaint.

Dorsey’s attorney, Jeffrey Weintraub, said he could not comment on the case because it is in litigation, but he thinks his client has a strong case.

Kevin Karpinski is representing the city instead of City Attorney Debra Yerg Daniel. Councilman Tom Moore said the lawsuits are not something the mayor and council deal with, and a decision to retain Karpinski as the attorney for the case never went before the governing body.

City Manager Barbara Matthews said the city forwarded Dorsey’s lawsuit to the Local Government Insurance Trust, an entity through which she said the city purchases most of its insurance coverage.

“The Local Government Insurance Trust assigns legal counsel for matters involving member agencies,” Matthews said.

Dorsey’s trial is set for May 12, 2014.

Meanwhile, Morgan’s lawsuit comes after Morgan’s attorney, Terry Morris, told the Sentinel in December he would be filing formal charges on Morgan’s behalf.

Morgan told the Sentinel he never had a three-month evaluation and only received a six-month evaluation a week and a half before he was fired, and he never had an opportunity to meet with his supervisor.  Additionally, Morgan said in December he was never contacted by Saul Ewing, the law firm the city paid $190,000 to perform an investigation into employee complaints of racism and discrimination.

Morris was not available for comment because he is out of town. There is no hearing date set yet for Morgan’s case.

Reader Comments - 2 Total

captcha 56cacd2aefe846038218e2a8c4eebd76

Posted By: Resident On: 7/26/2013

Title: To Mike Miller

Mike - Response to your question: “Why am I the first to comment on this article?” Probably because many people feel that “you can’t fight City Hall”. It is obvious the secret investigation by Saul Ewing was initiated by management to only serve management and it did - the results favored management. And, the City is still spending more of the taxpayers’ money to enable management.

Posted By: Mike Miller On: 6/18/2013

Title: Rockville has sunk to new lows

So now we read that our new manager is spending money defending the abusive managers in the city. How long will Rockvilles leaders continue to bury their heads in the sand?
The Mayor and Council never has seen the Saul Ewing report but they seem willing to just trust the city managers brief outline claiming the city did no wrong. Now outsude council will see the report. Soon we will see if the courts will order the release to the council of Mr. Morgan and Dorsey.
Rockville has much to hide and soon the entire city will know what was done to the staff in city hall.
If we find there was a cover up of abuses then Ms. Matthews needs to be FIRED!
Why am I the first to comment on this article?


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