11th Circuit dismisses allegation of bias by former House member
A black lawyer who has represented Alabama in Congress for four terms and ran for governor cannot bring a racial discrimination claim against the nonprofit legal organization he once ran, a ruling has ruled. federal court of appeal.
The 11th U.S. Court of Appeals, in a ruling on Thursday, refused to reinstate Artur Davis’ lawsuit against Legal Services Alabama, which has eight offices statewide and provides legal assistance to the needy in matters civil.
Once a rising star in state and national politics, Davis, 54, worked as an executive director of Legal Services Alabama for nine months ending in August 2017 before stepping down. He then filed a complaint claiming that he had been deported and treated unfairly on the basis of his race.
But a three-judge panel upheld a lower court ruling dismissing his lawsuit. He cited a lack of evidence that Davis suffered “adverse employment action” such as demotion, reduction in pay or unpaid leave.
The court, in the first of its kind in the 11th Circuit, disagreed with Davis’ claim that he had been wronged by being suspended with pay while the agency investigated complaints from his subordinates. Separately, he rejected Davis ‘argument that the organization had defamed him by sharing information with a consultant hired to handle public relations related to Davis’ suspension.
Alabama’s current chief legal officer said on Friday the agency was happy with the decision.
âOur Board of Directors is made up of volunteer lawyers and community leaders who take seriously our responsibility to assist our clients with their civil legal needs and to comply with all federal laws, including employment laws. . This decision confirms that our actions in this file were aligned with this value, âdeclared a press release from General Manager Guy Lescault.
Davis, who now works as an labor attorney, did not immediately return a phone message asking for comment.
Davis was first elected to the United States House as a Democrat and served from 2003 to 2011. He lost a candidacy for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2009, in part because of his opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care program.
Formerly known as “Obama of Alabama,” Davis spoke at the Democratic National Convention that nominated Obama, but switched to the Republican Party and spoke at the 2012 GOP National Convention in support of Mitt Romney. Davis later said he was returning to the Democratic Party and had twice led unsuccessful campaigns for mayor of Montgomery, most recently in 2019.