Pelham, former marketing director reach settlement in lawsuit

A settlement was reached in a lawsuit brought against the city of Pelham by former city marketing director Eva Shepherd, according to federal court documents. (File)

A settlement was reached in a lawsuit brought against the city of Pelham by former city marketing director Eva Shepherd, according to federal court documents. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought against the city of Pelham by a former city employee, according to federal court documents.

According to a joint stipulation of dismissal document filed by attorneys on Nov. 6, the city and former Pelham marketing director Eva Shepherd “have reached an amicable settlement of all claims before the Court and that the action should be dismissed with prejudice, with costs taxed as paid.”

The federal complaint was dismissed on Nov. 7, according to court documents, however no details regarding the settlement were published in court documents.

The lawsuit was filed in February 2013 after Shepard was fired from her position as the city’s marketing director in November 2012. Shepard was employed by the city from 2008 until November 2012 and claimed she had 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.

Shepard filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in October 2011 claiming the city did not justly compensate her for her work. According to the lawsuit, she was terminated from her position while awaiting a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC. Shepherd filed a second complaint with the EEOC stating the city retaliated against her for entering the first complaint.

The city contended Shepard’s termination was not in retaliation and 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 a March 2013 response.

Shepard was represented by Sandra Reiss of the Reiss Firm, LLC., and the city of Pelham was defended by Thomas L. Oliver II and Megan N. Cox of Carr Allison. As of Nov. 18, neither attorney’s office had returned calls for comment.