Former deputy city attorney files lawsuit against City of Jackson for racial discrimination

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — A former deputy city attorney for the Capital City has filed a lawsuit against the City of Jackson, claiming that she was wrongfully fired.

The complaint was filed by Lara Gill on August 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi Jackson Division.

She is claiming she was fired because she was White and that the people who kept their positions that had less experience were Black.

Gill is suing for punitive damages for race discrimination and racial harassment.

Gill said she worked for the city from July 2008 up until December 2014. She worked as the Deputy City Attorney II and was assigned to the Litigation Division.

The lawsuit states that she was notified in November 2014 that the City Attorney’s Office would be restructured.

She was reassigned to municipal court and the Prosecutor’s office. She said she questioned the City Attorney’s practices because she claims she was the most qualified litigator in her area. The complaint said those who weren’t transferred were Black and had less experience.

Gill said she wasn’t given a worthy explanation as to why she was moved.

She also said the first day at her new job, wasn’t able to go to her old office and the locks on the doors were changed.

Two days later, Gill said she went to the Prosecutor’s office for work and received a memo full of allegations from the City Attorney’s Office. She was given 24 hours to respond.

She was given an intent to terminate letter the next day, on December 3, 2014. Gill said she was placed on administrative leave with pay.

She claims she requested that the Disciplinary Action Review Committee review her termination. She said she was fired on December 16, 2014, the same day as the pre-termination hearing before the Committee.

Gill contacted the Mississippi Department of Employment Security to file for unemployment benefits. Gill said MDES determined that the City Attorney’s Office failed to prove that she was guilty of misconduct that would lead to termination.

She is requesting punitive damages from the City of Jackson.

Gill is representing herself at this time. Read the full lawsuit below.

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