by: Craig Lucie Updated:
The man who filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against Fulton County has been awarded $300,000 by a jury.
Douglas Carl said he filed the suit after he was passed up for a promotion based on his race.
“I always said it was David and Goliath. It’s one guy going up against the largest county in Georgia. It was scary,” Carl said.
Carl told Channel 2’s Craig Lucie he felt “absolute relief” when the jury announced its decision in a federal courtroom.
A jury found that Fulton County’s former manager, Thomas Andrews, and a commissioner discriminated against Carl when he applied for the director of human services position in April 2007. Carl applied right after a black woman resigned.
“A commissioner wants a black woman in the job and there are too many white boys on staff in human services,” Carl said, describing his former colleague’s testimony.
The jury also found that Andrews referred to employees as “black marbles” and “white marbles,” which Carl says was their hiring-practice theory in Fulton County.
“For every ‘black marble’ that leaves, you bring in another ‘black marble’ and the same with the white so that you keep a balance of white and black marbles,” Carl explained.
Carl said this case was never about the money, even though a jury awarded him the $300,000 and that amount may grow. The court will meet again within 30 days to consider whether to award more money to him for future lost wages and attorney’s fees.
“(It’s) just vindication. People heard what I experienced, and it was believed,” said Carl.
An attorney for the county sent a statement disputing Carl's claims.
"The undisputed facts in the record established that Mr. Carl was not denied the promotion due to his race or gender but instead due to the fact that the candidate who was hired was superior in qualifications and Mr. Carl completely blew the interview," Fulton County attorney David Ware said.
He also disputed racially biased comments attributed to a commissioner in court.
"The statements attributed to Commissioner (Emma) Darnell were admitted despite their being untrue and based on rank hearsay. Not a single witness testified to hearing Commissioner Darnell make the statements falsely attributed to her. Commissioner Darnell in fact denied making such statements."