Pelham responds to lawsuit against city

Published 12:12 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2013

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The city of Pelham denied all allegations brought in a lawsuit filed against the city by former Pelham marketing director Eva Shepherd in a response filed recently in U.S. District Court.



The city filed the response on March 20, which was about a month after Shepherd filed a lawsuit against the city claiming she was wrongfully terminated from her position and was discriminated against because of her gender.

In her lawsuit, Shepherd, who worked with the city from 2008 until she was fired November 2012, claimed she served three positions with the city after the City Council voted to eliminate the Pelham Civic Complex’s general manager, marketing and sales manager and maintenance manager positions shortly after she was hired.

Shepherd claimed she was not justly compensated by the city for her work, and filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in October 2011. Shepherd was terminated from her position while waiting for her right-to-sue letter from the EEOC, according to her lawsuit.

After receiving her right-to-sue letter from the EEOC, Shepherd filed a second EEOC complaint claiming the city retaliated against her for filing the first EEOC complaint.

In its response, the city denies all allegations brought by Shepherd in her lawsuit.

“Defendant admits the former mayor of Pelham, Don Murphy, illegally hired plaintiff (Shepherd) to be the director of marketing for the city of Pelham, a position that never existed in the city of Pelham,” read the city’s response. “Defendant avers it is not guilty of the matters and things alleged in plaintiff’s complaint and demands strict proof thereof.”

The city’s response claimed Shepherd’s termination was “consistent with legitimate business reasons, the laws and ordinances of the city of Pelham and/or the laws of the state of Alabama.”

As of April 9, no court dates had been set for the case.