Doug Carl wins race discrimination verdict against Fulton County
Fulton County Commissioner Emma Darnell
Former Fulton County Manager Thomas Andrews
ATLANTA - "I felt it was the truth all along and to hear a jury side with that was beyond description of what relief means," Doug Carl told 11 Alive News.
He's relieved because a federal jury ruled Fulton County denied him a promotion to Director of its Human Services Department in 2007 "on the basis of his race or gender".
Last Friday the jury ruled that then Fulton County Manager Thomas Andrews was pressured to hire an African-American woman instead.
The previous director was an African-American female and Carl was a deputy director with 15 years experience with Fulton County.
In his testimony, Andrews admitted referring to employees as "black marbles" and "white marbles" when making personnel decisions, but denied discriminating against Carl.
There was also second hand testimony that Fulton County Commissioner Emma Darnell supposedly said she had "too many white boys" in the Human Services Department and that she insisted a black women get the job again.
"The jury was convinced by the evidence that Emma Darnell had acted as sort of an invisible hand, guiding this process," said Carl's attorney, Andrew Coffman.
The jury awarded Carl $300,000 in lost wages and his attorneys say they will ask for twice that much more in lost future wages and legal fees.
Despite their loss, Fulton County still denies discrimination.
In an email to us, Commissioner Emma Darnell said she will talk when the case is finally over.
Meanwhile, she referred all comments to the county attorney's office.
Fulton County Attorney David Ware sent 11 Alive an email claiming, "the undisputed facts in the record established that Mr. Carl was not denied the promotion due to his race or gender, but instead due to the fact that the candidate who was hired was superior in qualifications and Mr. Carl completely blew the interview."
Ware wrote, "the statements attributed to Commissioner Darnell were admitted despite their being untrue and based on rank hearsay."
He claimed the verdict against the county was, "due to the admission of hearsay evidence and Plaintiff's direct appeal to racial prejudice."
Ware added that, "it is our expectation that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will set aside the verdict."
This isn't the first time Commissioner Darnell has been involved in a losing discrimination ruling against the county.
In 2004 it lost an appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court of another court verdict awarding $18-million to eight librarians who claimed they were demoted because of their race.
Their attorney produced recordings of library board meetings in which members could be heard saying "there were too many whites" in management and it was "not welcoming to black folks to see so many white faces."
The librarians had accused Fulton Commissioner Emma Darnell, twelve members of the library board and the library director of removing them from management positions strictly because they were white.