Former city workers claim they were fired for being white

Published 2:29 pm Saturday, September 14, 2019

Two former employees of a southwest Mississippi city are pursuing legal action, claiming black officials fired them because they were white.

Former McComb city prosecutor David Brewer sued the city Aug. 22 in federal court, The Enterprise-Journal reported.

Former public works director Chuck Lambert is pursuing a racial discrimination complaint he filed earlier this year with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. That complaint could be followed by a lawsuit.

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Brewer claimed in the lawsuit that a vote to replace him with Dawn Stough, a black woman, had no other motivation besides racial animus. Stough has since resigned.

The lawsuit says the white city attorney, police chief and deputy city clerk were also replaced at the same meeting.

The changes came after an African American majority was elected to the city board and Mayor Quordiniah Lockley, also black, succeeded a white man.

Lambert was replaced by a black woman who had been public works director in the nearby town of Magnolia.

However, the new majority did retain some white department heads, including the fire chief and the recreation director. A black woman was demoted when her title as finance director was eliminated.

Brewer declined comment, while Lambert said he’s waiting on the conclusion of the EEOC inquiry.

City board members Tuesday night were told that they had received no communication about the filing from the EEOC.

Lockley said he could not comment on ongoing litigation.