SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) — A federal lawsuit has been filed against the Summit County Sheriff by an “African-American activist and advocate” saying he was hired to carry out reforms in the sheriff’s office and the county jail, but he was fired after just weeks.
The lawsuit was filed by the Sherman Boseman Legal Group on behalf of Evis Brinson against Sheriff Kandy Fatheree, Chief of Staff Eric Czetli, and Summit County.
The suit says the sheriff hired Brinson in February to be the Director of Diversity, but he was fired in late March. The suit alleges discrimination, retaliation, and a hostile work environment.
Attorney F. Allen Boseman wrote,
“The real reason Defendants terminated Mr. Brinson is because of his race and for consistently engaging in protected activity by trying to fulfill his job duties of, among other things, confronting and attempting to tackle the racial inequities, discrimination, bias, retaliation and hostile work environment that permeated the county, the sheriff’s office and the county jail.”
The suit also says, “Not only was Mr. Brinson prevented from doing what he was hired to do – confront and reform racial inequities in the sheriff’s department and county jail – but he was also directly subjected to race discrimination, retaliation and a hostile work environment, which was ironic considering he was hired to stomp out this very type of conduct.”
We reached out to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office for comment, and a spokesman sent an e-mail saying, “Our office does not comment on pending litigation.”
Court records show lawyers for the sheriff’s office have asked for more time to file a response to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims Brinson was subjected to “intimidating comments” that were “racially motivated” and he was blocked from taking part in staff and management meetings.
Brinson says he was fired after the sheriff called him into her office to tell him there was a “difference of opinion” in how to carry out reforms in the department.