Ex-worker claims he was fired from county job after qualifying to run against his boss

Published 8:52 am Thursday, September 5, 2019

A man who qualified to run against his boss — Lincoln County District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown — has filed a lawsuit, alleging he was terminated from his job with the county out of retaliation.

Jesse Butler, who filed the lawsuit Aug. 13, also accuses Brown and the county of age discrimination in the lawsuit. Butler is 69.

A lawsuit represents one side of a story.

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He first filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in July. The EEOC closed its file after being “unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violations of the statutes.” The EEOC states that its finding does not certify that Brown followed the law in regards to age discrimination.

Butler says he qualified to run for office against Brown in January, and his boss found out after reading The Daily Leader. A few days later, Butler was excluded from road crew meetings, he alleges. Soon, he was reassigned from his dump truck driving duties and placed in an asphalt patch truck, he says.

He also claims that Brown had him wash a motor grader, excavator, front end loader and backhoe by hand. He says his employment was terminated May 28.

Butler is seeking back wages, reinstatement to the job, compensatory damages, punitive damages, lost benefits and attorney’s fees in the lawsuit.

Brown, 64, was reelected with the 68 percent of the vote during the Republican primary. Butler received 17 percent and Johnny Richardson got 14 percent.

Board attorney Bob Allen said Brown could not comment on pending litigation.