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Ex-employee sues Ga. GOP alleging discrimination

News Briefs (July 18 - 24)

Compiled by Stan Washington | 7/18/2014, 12:36 p.m.
ATLANTA (AP) - The former executive assistant to the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party has filed a federal lawsuit ...
Gov. Nathan Deal

ATLANTA (AP) - The former executive assistant to the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party has filed a federal lawsuit claiming race discrimination. Qiana Keith of Gainesville filed the lawsuit against the Georgia GOP on Tuesday, saying she was subjected to racial slurs and discrimination from co-workers because she is black. She said she was fired March 31 after complaining to her boss. She seeks unspecified damages and attorney fees as well as job reinstatement. The Georgia GOP’s lawyer, Anne Lewis, said in a statement Wednesday that Keith was terminated for "consistently poor job performance’’ and that an internal investigation found no merit to her claims.

Ethics chief: Gov aide made threat over complaints

ATLANTA (AP) - The head of the state ethics commission claims in a memo sent last year that an attorney for Gov. Nathan Deal once threatened to thwart legislative efforts to expand the agency’s authority unless she made complaints against the governor "go away.’’ Holly LaBerge, the commission’s executive secretary, said in the memo obtained Monday from the Attorney General’s Office that the threat came during a 2012 call with Deal’s chief counsel, Ryan Teague.

Deal’s personal attorney, Randy Evans, says the memo proves the contentious negotiations between the governor’s attorneys and commission staff, arguing the case against the governor still went to a full commission hearing. The commission later dismissed the main complaints and Deal paid administrative fees to settle the rest.

Ga. high court rules against indigent fathers

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia’s highest court has ruled that five indigent fathers jailed for failing to pay child support cannot file a class action lawsuit against the state for declining to provide them with lawyers. The 6-1 majority decision written by Justice Keith Blackwell and released Friday says "there is no absolute, inflexible, and categorical right to appointed counsel’’ for poor parents in such proceedings. The five fathers challenged a law that lets judges put parents in jail if they can’t make child support payments. They said jailing them causes the parents to lose their job, making it harder for them to make the payments.

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Alice Coachman Davis

First black woman to win Olympic gold dies in Ga.

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) - The first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, Alice Coachman Davis, has died at age 90 in south Georgia. Davis’ daughter, Evelyn Jones, says her mother died early Monday morning in Albany. Vera Williams, a secretary at Meadows Funeral Home in Albany, says Meadows will be handling Davis’ memorial service but plans haven’t been finalized yet. Davis won Olympic gold in the high jump at the 1948 games in London. She was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004. Davis attended Tuskegee University and won 25 national track and field championships - including 10 consecutive high jump titles. She was the only American woman to win a gold medal at the 1946 games, and retired at age 25 after winning Olympic gold.

Social media a factor in jury selection process

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) - Some Georgia lawyers say the social media presences of potential jurors may factor into the jury selection process. The American Bar Association has said it’s ethical for lawyers to scan publicly available social media accounts for information on potential jurors. Gainesville attorney John Breakfield tells the Times of Gainesville (http://bit.ly/1nsE90I ) that various social media platforms are the public record of modern times - unless certain privacy settings are in place.