Ian Miles Cheong, Heat Street, March 31, 2017
A former Hale County, AL administrator who claimed she was one of several employees “purged” from her place of work in 2013 for being white was been awarded $136,000 by a federal jury this Monday.
Tricia Galbreath was awarded the sum on claims over breach of contract, wrongful termination, and due process. However, Senior US District Court Judge Callie Granade dismissed her claim that she was fired on racial and age discrimination.
Galbreath filed a lawsuit against her employers at the Hale County Commission and county probate judge Arthur Crawford, who also serves as its chairman. Crawford, an African-American, was elected in November 2012 defeating his incumbent opponent in a write-in campaign.
In the period following his election to office, Crawford and the Commission “began a systemic purging of white employees,” the federal magistrate ruled in September 2015. “Each of these county employees was replaced by an African-American. Galbreath’s and the then-County Attorney’s replacements were also younger than them.”
The court also ruled in favor of the former probate clerk, Ann Langford, who was awarded $110,230 by a jury in 2016.