Former deputy re-files discrimination complaint at city jail

Posted at 12:14 AM, Aug 17, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-17 00:14:19-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--A former deputy at the Richmond City Jail claimed she was fired for leaking information to the press about Sheriff Woody employing at least ten members of his family at the jail.

"That's called nepotism on steroids," said Sa’ad El-Amin, Attorney for Lewis.

A few months later Yuvonka Lewis filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) asserting that only females were interviewed as part of the investigation in to the leak.

Lewis said she was interrogated about leaking information that included the criminal history of one of Woody’s relatives and was asked to take a polygraph test. The story about Woody’s relatives was published on December 6 2011, and three days later Lewis was fired.

 “He used his position for his personal vendetta," said El-Amin.

Woody’s representatives responded to the complaint by saying that Lewis had been disciplined and demoted several times while with the department.

They added that they believed Lewis was dishonest about her participation in the leak incident and that turning over confidential information about other employees violates computer privacy laws. After reading both sides of the story, the EEOC sided with Woody and in May 2012 reported no findings of discrimination.  

"What I say, it goes over their head or in one ear and out the other," said Lewis. 

Since the initial claim made by Lewis was dismissed, she has amended her complaint and re-filed with the EEOC on Monday. In her new complaint she cites more examples of discrimination and harassment.

She included examples of Woody making sexually inappropriate comments, unequal pay for women who did equal work as male employees and what she calls a “witch hunt” for those who called the media about Woody’s family ties in the jail.  

 "We were just put to ‘fill in here and fill in there,’ do this and do that," said Lewis.