Jury: Women discriminated against during sheriff promotion - WRBL

Jury: Women discriminated against during Muscogee sheriff promotion

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBUS, Ga. -

After more than 20 hours deliberating, the jury finally reached a verdict in the discrimination case against John Darr and the city of Columbus. The jury found that Sheriff Darr did discriminate against two women were claim they were passed over for a promotion. However, the jury did not award any financial damages.

Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr testified in court during the hearings. In July of 2011, Darr promoted two other women and a man for promotions. During that promotion ceremony, Darr explained the department's promotional policy to News 3.

"Because just like every promotion we do within the sheriff's department, we're trying to pick the best qualified person regardless of whether it's male or female," Darr said at the time.

Juror number 8, who didn't want to be identified by name, said the verdict was a compromise for the 7 men and 5 women jurors. She said they were stuck in a 9 to 3 standoff with most jurors leading towards finding Darr responsible for discriminatory practices so they made a compromised decision.

Lieutenant Donna Tompkins and Lieutenant Joan Wynn filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Darr after they claimed a less qualified individual, Lieutenant Charles Sharer, was promoted over them to captain in 2010.

Juror number 8 walks us through the jury room deliberations.

"It was very tense. A lot of emotions going on. But everybody got along well. It was a good group of people, but a lot of people had their opinions about things," said Juror number 8.

She said she was in favor of awarding the women back pay.

Sheriff Darr responded to the verdict on his facebook page.

"It has been a difficult couple of weeks because I know that in my heart and mind that gender was NOT a factor in the promotion involved in this case or in any other decision I have made since taking office. However, I have strong respect for the jury system. I know that the jury worked long and hard to reach their decision, and I thank them for their time and effort. I am pleased the jury decided not to award compensatory or punitive damages and that we can put the case behind us. I can assure the men and women of this community that gender is NOT and NEVER WILL be a factor for me. "

This story comes in part from our media partner the Ledger-Enquirer.

The Ledger-Enquirer's Chuck Williams has been live tweeting from the courtroom. You can monitor his feed from this page for updates.

James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Update: Victim identified in Columbus shooting

    Update: Victim identified in Columbus shooting

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:08 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:08:15 GMT
    Columbus police responding to calls of a shooting on Adair Avenue, police confirm.
    Columbus police responding to calls of a shooting on Adair Avenue, police confirm.
  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Thursday, April 10 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-04-10 15:54:25 GMT

    April arrests made in the Upstate and western North Carolina.

    April arrests made in the Upstate and western North Carolina.

  • Amber Alert canceled after toddler girl found; parents arrested

    Amber Alert went out after sibling was found dead

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:00 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:00:27 GMT
    Photo from WJTVPhoto from WJTV
    An Amber Alert has been canceled after 2-year old Maliah Harris was found safe in Georgia. Her 7-month-old sibling, Alyssa, was found dead and Maliah disappeared from a Mississippi home which prompted authorities to issue the alert. The girls parents, Donald Boyd Harris,34, and Allison Studdard, 31, are now in custody.
    An Amber Alert has been canceled after 2-year old Maliah Harris was found safe in Georgia. Her 7-month-old sibling, Alyssa, was found dead and Maliah disappeared from a Mississippi home which prompted authorities to issue the alert. The girls parents, Donald Boyd Harris,34, and Allison Studdard, 31, are now in custody.
some_text
  • On Your SideMore>>

  • Update: Victim identified in Columbus shooting

    Update: Victim identified in Columbus shooting

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:08 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:08:15 GMT
    Columbus police responding to calls of a shooting on Adair Avenue, police confirm.
    Columbus police responding to calls of a shooting on Adair Avenue, police confirm.
  • Authorities name suspect in Seale murder

    Authorities name suspect in Seale murder

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:04:40 GMT
    An arrest warrant is out for the man who police believe killed a college student in Seale.Authorities say they have a capital murder warrant out for 24-year-old Jeremiah Sokolgz. He is wanted in the death of Eric Anderson, who was found dead in a trailer home he was renting on Tuesday.Sheriff Heath Taylor tells News 3 several significant items had also been taken from the home, leading them to believe it could have been a home invasion.If you have any information about Sokologz’s whereabouts,...
    An arrest warrant is out for the man who police believe killed a college student in Seale.Authorities say they have a capital murder warrant out for 24-year-old Jeremiah Sokolgz. He is wanted in the death of Eric Anderson, who was found dead in a trailer home he was renting on Tuesday.Sheriff Heath Taylor tells News 3 several significant items had also been taken from the home, leading them to believe it could have been a home invasion.If you have any information about Sokologz’s whereabouts,...
  • Michelle Obama announces jobs website for veterans

    Michelle Obama announces jobs website for veterans

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:20 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:20:29 GMT
    FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - To help veterans leaving the military as it downsizes, the government on Wednesday started a one-stop job-shopping website for them to create resumes, connect with employers and become part of a database for companies to mine.First lady Michelle Obama announced the new Veterans Employment Center at Fort Campbell, Ky., during a special veterans' jobs summit, which comes as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down. Unemployment among veterans who have served since Se...
    FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - To help veterans leaving the military as it downsizes, the government on Wednesday started a one-stop job-shopping website for them to create resumes, connect with employers and become part of a database for companies to mine.First lady Michelle Obama announced the new Veterans Employment Center at Fort Campbell, Ky., during a special veterans' jobs summit, which comes as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down. Unemployment among veterans who have served since Se...
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.