Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 19, 2017

Discrimination complaint against supervisors thrown out

Apr 29, 2013

WATERLOO (AP) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has dismissed a discrimination complaint filed by the executive director of Black Hawk County Veterans Affairs against the county's board.

The EEOC said it was unable determine that the county Board of Supervisors violated federal law, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported Saturday.

Bennie Spain now has 90 days to file a lawsuit in federal or state court if he wishes to pursue the matter further.


Spain's complaint accused county supervisors of discriminating against him based on his race and in retaliation for a previous compliant he filed with the EEOC.


Spain, who is African-American, said that for two months last year, the board denied him access to public agendas and kept him from presenting agenda items.


Spain said he was disappointed in the decision, but that it was not unexpected.


"They don't really do an investigation," he said. "They just take what (the supervisors) say about it. But I will always address something that's wrong."


Spain, who has served as county VA director since 1985, has filed several discrimination complaints and lawsuits against the county and its supervisors over the years.


That includes a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission in 1987 saying he was denied raises and was underpaid because of his race. A state investigator agreed Spain was underpaid at the time, but found no evidence of discrimination.

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