Youngstown prosecutor worker dismisses discrimination suit

Staff report


Debra J. Byrd, a secretary in the city prosecutor’s office, has dismissed her civil lawsuit against the city, which alleged it discriminated against her because she is black and was diagnosed with cancer.

However, the dismissal entry filed Friday said she reserves the right to refile her complaint.

Her lawyer, Robert B. Kapitan of Broadview Heights, could not be reached to explain the reasons for the dismissal.

The city had asked Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to dismiss the city as a defendant without a trial, but court records don’t show any ruling by the judge on that request.

Had the judge granted the city’s dismissal request, the case against the city would have ended, said Anthony Farris, city law director.

There has been no settlement or agreement between Byrd and the city, he added.

Byrd’s lawsuit became an issue in then-City Prosecutor Jay Macejko’s unsuccessful March Democratic primary challenge to county Prosecutor Paul J. Gains, who was re-elected without opposition in November.

Mayor Charles Sammarone fired Macejko in April after a controversy over a racially sensitive text message about President Barack Obama and the city’s settlement of a federal religious discrimination lawsuit by Bassil Ally, an assistant city prosecutor who is a Muslim of Middle Eastern descent.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.