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Cooper, Barton & Cooper Files Retaliation Suit on Behalf of Whistleblower


Cooper, Barton & Cooper is standing up for the rights of a Sumter County School District principal who was recently pressured to resign after whistleblowing unlawful activity and discrimination carried out by the Sumter County superintendent. Our attorneys are representing plaintiff Lezley Anderson in a retaliation lawsuit in pursuit of justice and fairly deserved compensation for racial discrimination, lost wages, legal costs, and other related damages experienced.

Details of the Retaliation Lawsuit

Dr. Anderson was a trusted and well-known principal serving in the Sumter County School former District since 2013. However, on several occasions, Superintendent Dr. Torrance Choates told Anderson to discriminate against job applicants by race and national origin, regardless of experience or qualifications. When Anderson noted that applications that she received did not note ethnicity, she was pressured to conduct interviews just to see the applicants in person and discover ethnicity.

Using her best judgement, she continued with the hiring process as normal for a new position that opened up, and she chose an applicant from India. At this time, Choates remarked that people would not be able to understand the new hire, which could only be interpreted as an unwarranted jab at the applicant’s accent and an unfair stereotype.

Furthermore, Anderson has alleged that Choates began to instruct her and other school administrators to falsify reports and records to make schools qualify for additional government funding. Anderson made the right choice by reporting Choates to the Sumter County Board of Education and the Georgia Department of Education. Choates also tried to convince school staff to deposit nearly half of a school fundraiser’s collections into his personal “superintendent account.”

In retaliation against Anderson, Superintendent Choates told her she would either need to resign or she would be terminated and receive a poor end of year evaluation. Knowing that she was not deserving of the termination and bad evaluation and that Choates knew she had been a whistleblower, Anderson chose to resign and take legal action with Cooper, Barton & Cooper. The case is now pending in a federal court.

To learn more about this ongoing case, you can click here to view a full article from WGXA Fox24/ABC16 news. To contact our law firm and speak with our attorneys about an employment law case of your own, you can call us at (478) 202-7050 and schedule a free consultation.

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