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MAHONING COUNTY Ex-deputy gets OK to pursue suit



Published: Tue, February 12, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



An appellate court reversed a dismissal of Tammy Shaffer Noday's discrimination suit.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A former Mahoning County deputy sheriff's complaint of sex discrimination by the sheriff's department is back on track.

The 7th District Court of Appeals on Monday reversed a Mahoning County Common Pleas Court dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Tammy Shaffer Noday.

Actions: Noday was fired in August 1998 by then-sheriff Phil Chance because of perjury charges that were pending against her. Those charges have since been dismissed.

Noday filed a sex discrimination complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, which ruled in May 1999 that there was no evidence of discrimination and dismissed her claim.

Noday then filed a civil lawsuit against the county, alleging sex discrimination and wrongful termination in violation of public policy.

The county argued that Ohio law barred Noday from filing the suit because she had already chosen to go with a civil rights complaint. Under the law, she could seek one form of relief, but not both, the county said.

Judge Jack Durkin of common pleas court agreed with prosecutors and dismissed the suit in September 2000.

However, the appellate court cited a 2001 Ohio Supreme Court decision that says only age discrimination cases are limited to choosing either judicial or administrative relief. All other discrimination complaints are free to seek either or both, the ruling says.

What it means: Atty. James Gentile, who represents Noday, said the decision does not affirm that Noday was discriminated against, only that she is free to pursue the lawsuit.

The appellate court upheld Judge Durkin's dismissal of the wrongful termination prong of Noday's lawsuit.

Chance is serving a federal prison sentence for racketeering charges. Sheriff Randall Wellington declined to comment on the decision because he had not seen it.

bjackson@vindy.com




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