Tuesday, October 25, 2016
An Atlantic County Superior Court civil jury delivered a verdict in favor of Atlantic County in a case of alleged retaliation against the plaintiff, a female Atlantic County Sheriff’s Officer.
The eight-member jury consisting of four men and four women deliberated less than one hour before announcing its verdict on October 19, 2016 following a two week trial.
Plaintiff Joyce Jackson-Allen claimed she had been retaliated against as a result of her filing a 2010 internal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint. She has been employed by the Sheriff’s Office since March 10, 2003.
The county denied the allegations and presented evidence that a thorough investigation of Jackson-Allen’s claims had been conducted and appropriate anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies are maintained.
County attorneys were successful in having several other counts of Jackson-Allen’s complaint dismissed on summary judgment prior to trial.
On the one remaining count of retaliation, the jury found Jackson-Allen failed to prove she had suffered retaliation or any adverse actions based on her EEO complaint.
“Unfortunately this is not the first or last time Atlantic County will have to defend itself against unmeritorious claims for which the taxpayer bears the cost,” stated County Counsel James Ferguson. “But I am gratified by the swift verdict that found these claims to be unsubstantiated. Hopefully it will serve to deter others who may consider filing unfounded claims against Atlantic County.”
Judge J. Christopher Gibson who normally sits in Cape May County presided over the trial.