Searcy, AR: (Sep-28-07) Denny Bishop, Searcy's former chief probation officer, brought a lawsuit against the city, alleging he was wrongfully terminated. Bishop filed the federal lawsuit against Mayor Belinda LaForce claiming he was fired for advocating equal pay for a female worker, Donya Garrett. He claimed Garrett was being discriminated against because of her gender. Bishop said in the complaint that his firing was in retaliation after he began opposing Mayor LaForce's payroll practices. City officials claimed that Bishop's services were terminated because he displayed sexually suggestive and offensive conduct in a public forum. The incident took place during a conference held in Hot Springs in May 2006.
In a settlement reached, the city agreed to pay Denny Bishop $32,500 from the risk management fund. The Arkansas Public Entities Risk Management Association (APERMA) will pay the money. APERMA is the insurance covering all of the city's vehicles, buildings and court settlements.
[DAILY CITIZEN: WRONGFUL TERMINATION]
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