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|UPDATE: Gay senior citizens advocate wins racial job bias lawsuit against Fulton County|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|August 31, 2012 10:47|
Doug Carl, known for his community work on issues facing gay elders, has won a federal lawsuit alleging he was passed over for a Fulton County job because he is white and male.
A federal jury ruled Carl deserves $300,000 in back pay, the Atlanta Journal-Constiution reported today.
Carl served as Fulton County's deputy human services director. In 2010, he retired when his job was cut, according to the AJC. Carl had sued five years ago alleging that he applied for a position as a director but was passed over because the county, including Commissioner Emma Darnell, wanted to hire a black woman.
"Its been long five-year journey. It sounds cliche, but when justice prevails it's an amazing feeling.I'm ready to move on," Carl said in an interview with GA Voice. Carl now works with the state Division on Aging and teaches competency training on LGBT issues to healthcare and others who work with LGBT aging citizens.
"I feel complete vindication. It's been a long five-year journey to justice and I've never felt like relief like this before," he said.
The county plans to appeal.
Here's more from the AJC on the case, which the county disputes:
The sum could triple next month when a judge decides whether to add in future lost wages, pension benefits and attorneys’ fees, according to Carl’s attorney, A. Lee Parks.
But Fulton County Attorney David Ware said, in a written statement after the verdict last week, that Carl lost the job because he “completely blew the interview” and he expects the verdict to be overturned on appeal.
“The only reason Mr. Carl alleges that race played a part in the selection process is because the person chosen happened to be an African-American female,” the county attorney’s statement said. “Mr. Carl was incredulous that a black woman would be chosen over him and thus decided to accuse the county of a race-based decision.”
Parks said in response to Ware’s statement, “It’s sad. What it is, it’s disrespectful to jury.”
The commissioner has denied making that statement, Ware said.
While working with Fulton County, Carl became involved with the Atlanta Regional Commission and its efforts to find ways to meet the needs of aging residents, including those within the LGBT communities.
He was instrumental in the founding of Atlanta's chapter of SAGE USA (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders).
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