Court sets tentative timeline for lawsuit against Pelham

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A lawsuit brought against Pelham by the city’s former marketing director likely will not go to trial before 2014, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in late April.

Shepherd

Shepherd

According to a report filed in District Court on April 25, attorneys representing the city and former Pelham marketing director Eva Shepherd held a telephone conference on April 12 to lay out a tentative timeline for the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, which was filed in February, 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 a response filed in March, the city denied all allegations brought by Shepherd in the lawsuit, and 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.”

According to the report, attorneys from both sides have until Dec. 16 to complete discovery. During discovery, attorneys are able to collect information to aid in their cases.

“Settlement can not be evaluated prior to conducting some initial discovery,” read the report. “A pre-trial conference can be set for March 2014, with trial set accordingly. The parties expect the trial to last 3-4 days.”