July 24, 2014 - 06:40
     
Election Commission to answer Interrogatories
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A hearing was held last Friday in Federal Court to address a motion from Melitte Harrison to compel the Polk County Election Commission to answer a set of Interrogatories and produce documents in the wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Harrison.

A hearing was held last Friday in Federal Court to address a motion from Melitte Harrison to compel the Polk County Election Commission to answer a set of Interrogatories and produce documents in the wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Harrison. Judge William B. Carter, US Magistrate Judge ruled that the defendants had 20 days to respond.

According to the initial filing, Harrison claimed she was involved in three successful elections and was never subjected to discipline. Harrison alleges email communications show bias against females and an intent to replace her with a male employee. She claims Gaddis had previously been terminated and was less qualified.

The response filed by the Election Commission denies the allegations.

According to the motion, Interrogatories to be answered by the Election Commission include whether or not Harrison was the subject of any complaints regarding her performance, if she had been subject to any disciplinary action, the basis of her termination, and the individuals involved in her termination.

In addition, the Interrogatories request detailed information of every complaint made between January 1, 2010 and the present that concerns any allegation of a violation of federally-protected right to a discrimination- and harassment-free workplace. The Election Commission is also being asked to provide information about any complaints of discrimination or harassment filed by administrative agencies or other defendants alleging violations of the Human Rights Act.

Names, addresses, job titles, and present whereabouts of all who have given statements covering the facts and circumstances pertaining to the litigation are also being requested. The motion requests each statement include when and where it was made, whether oral, recorded, or written; and the exact context, with copies of written and recorded statements.

Among the documents requested by Harrison are an employee handbook or other manual in effect in January, 2010 or after; any discrimination or harassment policy adopted or proposed; an organizational chart detailing the Election Commission’s organizational structure; personnel files for Harrison, Doris Wise, and Steve Gaddis; written job descriptions; documents reflecting any form of disciplinary action or complaints against Harrison; policies or written procedures consulted in the decision to terminate Harrison; minutes and audio recordings of Election Commission meetings; and any documents the defense is relying on for its defense.

Harrison has demanded a jury trial in the case.

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