A former Greene County Children Services Director has filed a federal lawsuit against county agencies alleging racial discrimination.
The civil complaint marks the third lawsuit Alice Maddox, who is black, has filed against the county since she was asked to resign from her position and placed on administrative leave on April 26, 2012.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court on June 24, identifies county commissioners, the Greene County Department of Jobs and Family Services and the defunct Greene County Children’s Services Board as defendants.
Maddox, who worked at the children services agency for 23 years, filed the federal complaint after filing a race discrimination charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to court documents. She was named executive director in 2010.
The 11-page complaint alleges the children services board was “controlled by members who were offended by an African- American holding the position of Executive Director” and denied Maddox’s request for a contract even though her predecessors were given one.
“Following Ms. Maddox appointment to Executive Director, those CSB Board members who had opposed the appointment of Ms. Maddox because of antagonism against her race initiated a campaign of criticism and harassment against her,” wrote Maddox’s attorney, John Folkerth Jr., in the complaint.
“It is pending litigation, and it would be unwise for me to comment on it,” said Greene County Commissioner Bob Glaser.
Commissioner Tom Koogler declined to comment on the lawsuit stating he had not seen the complaint.
Commissioner Alan Anderson did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
In addition to the federal lawsuit, Maddox has filed complaints against the county in Greene County Common Pleas Court on July 10, 2012 and June 3, 2013 which allege the children services and the county commission boards held multiple executive sessions that were in violation of Ohio Sunshine Laws. One of the local lawsuits also alleges the county illegally combined children services with jobs and family services.
Last month, a Greene County Common Pleas Court judge awarded Maddox $83, 604.20 in civil forfeitures and attorney fees. The county will also have to pay Alice Maddox back pay from the time she was terminated on June 26 through November 20, 2012 when the children services agency merged with Greene County Jobs and Family Services and eliminated the executive director position.
Maddox’s annual salary, excluding benefits, at the time she was terminated was $92, 518, according to the county auditor’s office data.