Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Happening Now

Algood Mayor Looking For Changes After Court Settlement

Algood Mayor Lisa Chapman-Fowler plans to recommend changes after the city settled a lawsuit with former police sergeant Dana Looper Monday.

Chapman-Fowler said she’ll be asking the city council to review city policy regarding sexual harassment and discrimination.

“I can assure Miss Looper that I’m going to be reviewing those policies and I think it would be a good idea that we have some training on sexual harassment and discrimination,” Chapman-Fowler said. “I think the council would join me in the effort of requiring all of our employees to take part in that.”

Looper accused the city of sexual harassment, discrimination, first amendment claims and retaliation following her October 2015 termination. The accusations came while the police department was under the leadership of former Police Chief Gary Harris.

The $225,000 settlement with Looper includes payments for back wages, plus compensation for damages, legal fees and other related expenses she incurred.

Chapman-Fowler said she will also request a change to how the city council receives notification about pending litigation against the city. She said she didn’t find out about the settlement until a Tuesday morning phone call.

“I do think that all the city officials should be notified when something like this is going on,” Chapman-Fowler said. “I’m going to be putting in a request that we all be provided with a list of any litigation that is currently pending against the city.”

Chapman-Fowler said knowing about ongoing ligation will prevent her and the council from being “blindsided” by any results.

It is unknown whether the city currently requires sexual harassment and discrimination training for its employees.

City Administrator Keith Morrison provided a written statement to media outlets Tuesday with no mention of required training. Morrison declined to answer additional questions.

Algood Police Chief Dale Armour said his officers undergo sexual harassment and discrimination courses during annual Title VI training.