Goddard files EEOC complaint - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Goddard files EEOC complaint

December 13, 2005

Albany- Mattie Goddard's job performance caught the city manager's eye as soon as he came to work in Albany. He gave her across the board "ineffectives" on her job evaluation, and then told her to retire, resign or be fired.

Now, Goddard has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming the city manager is discriminating against her.

Her lawyer says she's being targeted because she's black and a woman, but Lott says that has nothing to do with it.

In a Charge of Discrimination to the EEOC, Civic Center Director Mattie Goddard claims she's been treated unfairly because of her race, sex, age.

She wrote "During my employment, I had not received any adverse employment action and I had not received a ranking on an evaluation below effective, until I was evaluated on November 21, 2005, and I received ineffective rankings in all areas by the new City Manager. Prior to this evaluation, I had complained of discrimination, and I had informed the City Manager that white people in the community wanted me removed from my position because I was a black."

"As far as any claims of racial discrimination on my part, there's no indication of that. I am an African American," said City Manager Alfred Lott.

City Manager Alfred Lott says his concerns are with not with Goddard's race, sex or age, but with her job performance. "Eight generations ago, my descendants or parents were slaves, so I'm certainly not going to discriminate against anyone. I know how that feels. I grew up in the segregated South and the last thing I want to do is be unfair to anybody."

And Lott says no leaders in the community, of any race, are pressuring him to get rid of Goddard. "These are my own, personal observations. I can swear to that under oath. I've spent a good deal of time supervising the civic center, and all of my departments, and I've drawn my own conclusions as a senior with 29 years of experience," said Lott.

Mattie Goddard has drawn criticism from the community for years because of the lack of events booked at the sprawling 10,000 seat civic center. And earlier this year, a group of leaders who do business with the civic center, wrote a letter to the city complaining about the negative and hostile working environment at the civic center.

Asked if he plans to fire Goddard, "I'm not going to comment on any specifics about Mrs. Goddard," answered Lott. Goddard's lawyer says if she is fired, a lawsuit will be filed.

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