Despite the recent flurry of ceremonies and construction of monuments in celebration of 50 years of progress, Birmingham City stands accused of racial discrimination in a federal lawsuit filed by Virginia Spidle on January 11, 2013. Spidle, the City’s Chief Accountant, a 24 year City employee was wrongfully terminated twice by the City, once in 2010 and the second time weeks after the Jefferson County Personnel Board ordered her reinstatement in 2012. The City has since invited her back to work. She is now assigned to the City’s Public Work Department.
Today, (July 10, 2012) the Jefferson County Personnel Board met for the first time since the Circuit Court issued its decision in Virginia Spidle's favor, yet made no mention of the Board's promise to "immediately revisit" their decision after the Circuit Court ruling. The Circuit Court ruled in favor of Mrs. Spidle June 26, 2012. Earlier, the JCPB granted a stay of the "second termination" more than two months ago at the request of the City of Birmingham stating:
While a three judge panel has upheld the board's decision to reverse Virginia Spidle's initial wrongful termination, the City continues to spend untold amounts of taxpayer dollars to maintain the farce that is her second termination. The City re-fired Virginia after the Jefferson County Personnel Board ordered her back to work. They also sought a stay for the second termination proceeding before a hearing officer. (My brief in opposition to the stay is here)
Even though three judges say put her back to work and pay her, the city will resist. They are using taxpayer's money, not their money," Gear said. "Only they know what's powering the ill will, but money is no object."
Joseph Bryant at the paper does a great job of keeping Birmingham informed about what is going on at city hall. Here is his article from February about Virginia Spidle's EEOC complaint against the city. http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/02/birmingham_city_accountant_fir_1.html