Ga. Supreme Court will hear Goddard lawsuit - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Ga. Supreme Court will hear Goddard lawsuit

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A lawsuit against the City of Albany is going all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Former Civic Center Director Mattie Goddard was fired after working for the city for more than 20-years.

Her discrimination suit was thrown out, but she also claims city manager Al Lott did not follow proper termination procedures.

Mattie Goddard was hired by the City in 1983 and managed the Civic Center for 15 years before she was fired in 2006.

"She just thinks that Mr. Lott wanted to replace her with a white guy," said Maurace King, Goddard's Attorney.

King says she did not get a termination hearing.

"I think she has a right to a pre-termination hearing," he said.

Both sides agree Goddard never received a negative work evaluation prior to Al Lott becoming the city manager in 2005.

"Prior to Mr. Lott arriving she did not have any adverse employment action," said King.

And when she did get a negative evaluation, King says she should have been given time to correct it.

"She's entitled to some notice and an opportunity to be heard prior to any termination, that's our position," said King.

Her attorney also argues that superior Court Judge Ronnie Joe Lane didn't even look at Goddard's deposition and other sealed files before he threw out the lawsuit.

"The Georgia court of appeals transferred the case to the supreme court of Georgia it concluded it did not have jurisdiction and the Supreme Court did," said King

King says Goddard should get her job back.

"We take the position that she is entitled to reinstatement to her job as the civic center director, and she is entitled to the employment benefits she has lost since she was wrongfully terminated," said King.

We made calls to the city manager's office and the city's attorney in this case.

Our calls were not returned.

The case is scheduled to be heard June 22nd.

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