Judge awards $1.18 million in discrimination lawsuit against Fulton County

by: Shae Rozzi Updated:

Loading
ATLANTA —

Doug Carl says he'd rather have the last six years of his life back than receive a large sum of money as a result of his discrimination lawsuit against Fulton County.

He sat down with Channel 2's Shae Rozzi at his attorney's office in downtown Atlanta to describe what he's felt during his ongoing legal battle.

"Endurance, pain, frustration, sadness, it's just been six years of your life consumed with this issue," Carl told Rozzi.

He was working as the interim director of the Fulton County Department of Human Services in February 2007 when he said he was denied promotion to director.

In 2012, a jury found that he was denied the promotion because of his race and gender.

Carl claimed the former County Manager Thomas Andrews and Commissioner Emma Darnell wanted to replace the African-American female who left the position with another African-American female and that Darnell had stated, "there were too many white boys on staff."

"In this case it was Commissioner Darnell who was the one behind the insistence that there be a black female in this position," Lee Parks, Carl's attorney, told Rozzi.

"She's been around a long time. I'm sure she's done some good and that's why she gets re-elected," Parks said. "In this case whether her heart was in the right place, it took the county to a really bad legal place."

Parks said the total legal bill will likely add up to $2 million for taxpayers.

Last year a jury awarded Carl $300,000 for back pay. The federal judge's order issued this week covers the cost of Carl losing his position, losing his pension and five years of future pay since he would've been able to retire at that time. The court still has to rule on hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Carl originally offered to settle the case for $300,000, but his attorney said Fulton County offered $175,000.

So far he hasn't received any money because Fulton County has appealed the jury's ruling.

Carl says winning this case is not about the money.

"It's been about justice," he told Rozzi. "It's been about discrimination is wrong. Hiring practices should not be based upon someone's gender or race. It's about making sure it doesn't happen again."