Friday, January 9, 2015

City employee sues over remarks, firing; Asks for up to $750K

A Knoxville employee has sued the city, alleging a top administrator often made "vulgar, homosexuality-laced comments" about him and another worker, according to the discrimination lawsuit filed in Knox County Circuit Court.

In addition, Rick Evans alleges Greg Mackay, director of the city's Public Assembly Facilities Department, also terminated his job as the Chilhowee Park general manager after he raised concerns about possible financial misuse at the East Knoxville venue.

In the lawsuit, filed Dec. 12, Evans said he told Mackay and other administrators that the city used "property, money, equipment, and personnel" to benefit the Tennessee Valley Fair, which operates out of the park in September each year.

He said the fair's governing board "is largely comprised of wealthy, politically connected members of the county," so officials sought to silence him by cutting his position as the park's general manager, according to the lawsuit.

Evans is asking for up to $750,000 in combined lost wages and benefits as well as punitive damages.
Evans' attorney, Knoxville-based Jesse Nelson, declined to comment to WBIR 10News.

The city also declined to comment, as did Mackay, who previously served as the county's election administrator from 2002 to 2011.

However, an independent investigation conducted on behalf of the city suggests that Mackay "made no such explicit comments."

The investigator, Knoxville-based attorney Thomas Hale, interviewed seven employees whom Evans said either heard the comments or were told of the remarks. But none of them backed his story, according to a report Hale submitted to city officials.

In addition, he met with Mackay, who also denied the allegations.

Complete story RIGHT HERE.

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