Cabell Co. settles, dismisses lawsuit from former deputy

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 2, 2015

HUNTINGTON – A lawsuit filed by a former sheriff's deputy has been settled and dismissed from federal court.

The stipulation and dismissal order was filed Jan. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

On Dec. 10,  a report of mediation was filed with the court, stating that on Oct. 1, a mediation session was conducted wherein the parties negotiated and agreed to a settlement of all claims.

Lt. Patrice Lambert, who worked as deputy sheriff for the county for nearly 30 years, was fired in August 2012.

Lambert filed her complaint on Aug. 4 in federal court.

Sheriff Tom McComas, the Cabell County Commission, the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department and Chief Deputy Doug Ferguson were all named in the suit.

Lambert claimed McComas told Commissioner Bob Bailey he did not want any women on the force.

Lambert claimed McComas’s reason for firing her was because she failed to pass a firearms test.

However, Lambert contends McComas did not enforce the policy, and that there are no firearms records to evidence.

She also argued that male officers were given more attempts to pass the test and even encouraged to cheat.

She claimed the defendants’ reason for discharging her, along with a female home confinement officer, was "pre-textual" and a "cover-up."

Lambert contended the defendants also were motivated to fire her because, in the previous months, she filed and resolved a charge of unlawful discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Plus, she had been named a witness to a female home confinement officer’s charge of gender discrimination, which was filed with the EEOC after her own unlawful termination.

Lambert claimed that, as a result of the defendants’ conduct, she has suffered lost wages and benefits, lost retirement benefits, emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and ridicule.

She was represented by Maria W. Hughes and Mark Goldner of Hughes & Goldner PLLC.

The defendants were represented by Lee Murray Hall and Nathanial A. Kuratomi of Jenkins Fenstermaker.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 3:14-cv-24354

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