Tobar is defendant and plaintiff in two separate discrimination lawsuits
Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar says a lawsuit he filed against his former employer is only days from being resolved.
On Aug. 7, 2015, Tobar initiated a lawsuit against Jeff Davis County and three county commissioners who voted on Feb. 6, 2013 to terminate him only three months after he started working there on Nov. 7, 2012.
Tobar’s suit alleges he was dismissed because of his race and national origin.
The Grady County administrator and his attorney, Terina Williams of Atlanta, met with attorneys representing Jeff Davis County in Macon on Aug. 22 for mediation, according to Tobar.
Tobar was formally reprimanded by the Grady County commission this week for driving a county vehicle to Macon on personal business to attend the mediation session.
It is unclear if all members of the Grady County Board of Commissioners knew of Tobar’s action against Jeff Davis County prior to Tuesday’s commission meeting.
“I want this all behind me. I don’t want to think about it anymore,” Tobar said this week.
According to Tobar, the suit is in the process of being resolved, but he would not say how.
“There are a bunch of papers being shuffled back and forth. I don’t know when exactly it will be finalized, but not a day too soon,” he said.
In his suit, Tobar claims that before the Nov. 2012 elections, Steve Toler, a Jeff Davis commissioner who was elected after the plaintiff was hired, made comments about the board hiring an “outsider” as county administrator. Toler allegedly also made a statement that his first order of business would be to terminate Tobar.
The suit alleges that while attending a training session by Association County Commissioners of Georgia, Toler made the statement that “no person of Hispanic ancestry is going to be county administrator in Jeff Davis County.”
The board voted Feb. 6, 2013 to terminate Tobar on a vote cast by three Caucasian males; the other two commissioners walked out of the meeting prior to the vote. The suit further notes that a white male was hired to replace Tobar immediately following his termination.
Tobar had been fired from three previous jobs before being hired by the Grady County Commission to begin work on June 3, 2013.
Jeff Davis County and Commissioners Ray Wooten, Steve Toler, and Wayne Hall are being represented by attorneys Richard K. Strickland and Amanda L. Szokoly of Brunswick.
According to Tobar, these are the attorneys the Association Count Commissioners of Georgia hired to represent his former employer.
Ironically, Tobar is named a defendant in a discrimination suit filed by former Grady County employee Blair Bracewell.
A jury trial in this matter has tentatively been set for April 3, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands in Albany.
A federal court is being asked to determine if actions by Tobar violated the civil rights of Ms. Bracewell, a former county accounting clerk in the Grady County Board of Commissioners’ office from July 25, 2012 through April 29, 2014.
In the EEOC complaint and the federal lawsuit, Ms. Bracewell alleges that Tobar treated her differently after learning she was pregnant out of wedlock.
Ms. Bracewell’s suit states that on March 12, 2014 Tobar authorized a $1 per hour raise for her then approximately two weeks later she notified the administrator that she was expecting a child.
According to the suit, after Tobar learned of the pregnancy he allegedly required Ms. Bracewell to work additional hours without being paid overtime to make up for lost time going to doctor’s appointments and to use her available sick time.
The former accounting clerk also alleges that Tobar “pushed his religious beliefs” on her and “many times” made comments about Ms. Bracewell living with her boyfriend without being married.
After learning that she was pregnant, Ms. Bracewell alleges that Tobar questioned her on several occasions about whether she was going to get married since she was pregnant.
Tobar terminated Ms. Bracewell on April 28, 2014, just one month after granting her a $1 per hour raise.
Grady County’s liability insurance through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia has retained Thomasville attorney Raleigh W. Rollins to represent the county in the federal suit.
Rollins met with commissioners and Tobar Tuesday of this week to update them on the pending litigation.
No action was taken as a result of the closed session.