ROCKVILLE – Another former Rockville employee is going to court to try and get a look at the highly controversial Saul Ewing Report after filing a suit claiming racial discrimination.
Courtney Morgan, a former division chief of inspection services for the city, filed a lawsuit in federal court in 2013 alleging he was fired by Susan Swift, director of community planning and development services, after receiving an unfair six-month performance review. He also claimed he did not receive a mandatory three-month performance review, which was only given to white employees. The lawsuit also alleges Morgan was paid less than his white colleagues with similar job titles, education, and credentials.
In the motion filed on May 12, Morgan and his attorney Terry Morris request to depose several key, high profile witnesses in his ongoing case as well as view the Saul Ewing report commissioned by the city in 2012. Morgan was not one of the employees interviewed for the report.
The persons named in the lawsuit include Miguel Morales, a former Rockville employee; Mayor Bridget Newton; and Cyndi Waters and Tommy Joe Tucker, both former employees who are expected to testify about the city’s alleged failure to respond to Morgan’s initial concerns.
The depositions will also discuss the 2013 Saul Ewing Report and Carlos Vargas, former HR director for the City of Rockville
“The Saul Ewing Report was conducted in bad faith to suppress incidents of racial discrimination and thus said report is a sham,” Morgan said in the lawsuit.
The court rejected Rockville’s motion to dismiss.
Morgan is not the only former Rockville employee to file a discrimination lawsuit against the city. Charles Baker, Rockville
Donald Dorsey, a 12-year employee of the city, filed a claim stating he was treated unfairly because he was black and that his white supervisors retaliated against him after he complained about a supervisor displaying the Confederate flag on his phone, clothes and work vehicle’s dashboard. Dorsey also claims his work truck was vandalized and his overtime and backhoe opportunities were reduced and given to white employees after he reported the incidents. In December 2013 the city was ordered to release parts of the Saul Ewing report to Dorsey and his attorney. The city appealed the ruling.
Marylou Berg, spokeswoman for Rockville, said the city does not comment on ongoing litigation. Berg said the findings of the Saul Ewing Report are confidential because they contain personnel information but the report will be used to improve organizational processes.
“The City of Rockville is a community service organization, and our employees are our most valuable asset. The findings outlined in the Saul Ewing report provide the City with the opportunity to strengthen its work environment, in order to better support the members of our workforce as well as the community we serve,” City Manager Barbara Matthews said in a statement.
Morgan is asking for $39,541 in back pay for lost wages, $43,000 in front pay damages, $7,500 in lost benefits and $100,000 for emotional and physical damages. Morgan was unemployed from February 2012-April 2012. He is currently employed with Montgomery County Public Schools as an engineer with an annual salary of $93,000.
Morris did not respond to interview requests.