A former federal public defender in Chattanooga who now lives in Huntsville, Ala., has won a lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ordered the reinstatement of Deirdra Brown-Fleming to her former job as a federal prosecutor nearly five years after she alleged racial and sexual discrimination.
The panel also ordered the reinstatement of Ms. Brown-Fleming's former supervisor, Victor Conrad. Mr. Conrad had claimed he was demoted for reporting the situation to his superiors and supporting Ms. Brown-Fleming.
Ms. Brown-Fleming is also to receive back pay.
It was ruled that U.S. Attorney Alice Martin fired Ms. Brown-Fleming in 2002 in retaliation for filing a racial discrimination complaint.
Officials said the compensation will likely total more than $4.4 millionm, the Huntsville Times reported.
Ms. Brown-Fleming was the first black woman to serve as a federal prosecutor in the Huntsville branch of the U.S. Attorney's Office.
She told the Huntsville newspaper, "What happened to me is not an isolated event. It's part of a pattern and practice here."
She had claimed that a paralegal sabotaged her court briefs in 1998 and that the same paralegal, several office staff members and some federal law enforcement agents referred to her by a racially derogatory term. It was charged that the term became her office nickname.