Hearing set for lawsuit against Pelham

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Attorneys involved in a lawsuit brought against Pelham by the city’s former marketing director are scheduled to meet in U.S. District Court in mid-June to lay out the next steps in the case.

Shepherd

Shepherd

According to an order filed June 3 in District Court, attorneys from both sides will appear before Judge David Proctor for a scheduling conference at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 17 at the Hugo L. Black United States Courthouse in downtown Birmingham.

During the conference, Proctor will work to lay out the future of the case in court. According to a report filed in late April, the case likely will not go to trial before 2014.

The lawsuit was filed in February by former Pelham marketing director Eva Shepherd, who worked with the city from 2008 until she was fired November 2012.

In the lawsuit, Shepherd 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.

Pelham is being represented by attorneys Meghan Cox, Thomas Oliver and Richard Trewhella Jr. of the Carr, Allison, Hugh, Howard, Oliver and Sisson law firm.

Shepherd is being represented by Birmingham attorneys Sandra Reiss and John Saxon.