Lawsuit alleges sex acts, racial discrimination in Madison County Sheriff's Office

Lawsuit alleges sex acts, racial discrimination in Madison County Sheriff's Office

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A woman who worked as an investigator for the Madison County Sheriff's Office has filed a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination and misbehavior.

The new lawsuit has claims the Madison County Sheriff's Office is rife with unlawful employment practices, racial discrimination, a racially hostile working environment, unlawful retaliation, and other charges related to alleged discrimination and threats towards people standing up against it.

The suit filed in federal court names several individuals of the department, including Sheriff Blake Dorning, members of the Madison County Commission, and the Human Resources Department as defendants.

One deputy says she caught coworkers having sex in her office, on camera. Inside the more than 600 page lawsuit, a 21-year veteran of the department named Marina Garcia says she set up hidden cameras in her office that she shared with a coworker.

She found that coworker had been having sex in that office. The lawsuit lists Capt. Charles Berry as the person having sex with Garcia's coworker.

Garcia claims that she told her coworker the relationship with Berry was interfering with her job. The lawsuit also claims that when Garcia went to confront her coworker, they stated they could get Berry to demote her. The lawsuit also says that sex acts were performed in Garcia's office chair by her coworker.

Garcia also alleges racial discrimination. Claiming racial slurs were used frequently in the office, especially towards Hispanics and Mexicans. The lawsuit also claims then-Sgt. Brian Chaffin said that he would never promote an African-American.

Garcia also claims that when she tried to report these allegations, she was demoted and her pay was cut.

Statement from Attorney representing Marina Garcia 
"It takes a great deal of fortitude and courage for an employee to step forward in this kind of situation. They have to be concerned about a retaliatory action taken against them in the form of demotion and the worst thing, of course, is being fired, being terminated and also a demotion would mean probably a drop in pay and possible benefits so that's always a concern to employees in this type of situation. I would add to that we are not just talking about just any business or corporation we're talking about a law enforcement agency that should be enforcing the law not treading the law," said Mike Weathers, Counsel for Plaintiff Marina Giacomina Garcia.

WAFF 48 News is still going through the lawsuit. More specifics will be reported as we investigate.

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