State settles discrimination case | NevadaAppeal.com

State settles discrimination case

The Board of Examiners voted Tuesday to pay $130,000 to a transportation department employee because of rude and sexist remarks made by her supervisor.

The settlement was drafted after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Sylvia Dominguez-Curry had enough evidence to warrant a trial on allegations of discrimination and that she may have been passed over for promotion because of her gender.

The remarks date back 10 to 12 years, according to Nevada Department of Transportation officials who say the supervisor, Roc Stacey, has not committed any new acts that could be considered discriminatory since the case was originally filed in 2000.

But Gov. Kenny Guinn and Secretary of State Dean Heller questioned whether the state was exposed to potential liability because Stacey is still Curry’s supervisor and wasn’t disciplined for the conduct.

Heller questioned whether the two should be separated to avoid possible future legal problems. He refused to vote for the settlement deal.

Attorney General George Chanos said that line of questioning involves personnel matters and shouldn’t be conducted in a public meeting. He said he would discuss it with Guinn later.

Guinn joined Chanos in approving the settlement after Chanos assured him the settlement was a separate issue they can deal with outside the board meeting.

Guinn agreed with legal counsel in the case that the state’s potential loss in a trial was much higher than the $130,000. The board was told legal fees alone could exceed $100,000.

The remarks Stacey is accused of making included sexually explicit jokes and complaints about women workers getting pregnant. He suggested they stay home instead of working, and allegedly suggested the women were getting paid too much.

The promotion Curry sought was Stacey’s old job as a program officer. He allegedly told her he wanted a man in that position.

She didn’t get that promotion, but NDOT spokesman Scott Magruder said her job has been upgraded.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.