A former Hamilton County employee has sued Trustee Bill Hullander in federal court, alleging employment discrimination.
Lisa Crane claims that, before Hullander took over the trustee position on Sept. 1, 2010, he told her that she "did not 'fit' his 'reorganization' for the office," court documents state.
Crane asked what she could have done to keep her job and Hullander replied, "Nothing, I don't even know you," according to documents. He fired her on on Aug. 20, 2010, the documents said.
Reached by email Thursday, county spokesman Mike Dunne said it is the policy of the county attorney not to comment on pending cases.
Crane's court documents go on to state that her father spoke with Hullander and asked why he fired Crane and Hullander told him that he "had gotten rid of all the people hired by Carl Levi," the former trustee who lost his bid for re-election to Hullander in 2010.
The suit seeks to reinstate Crane to her former position or an equivalent job. Crane also requests that the county compensate her for "humiliation and embarrassment" but does not specify an amount.
Hullander told the Chattanooga Times Free Press in August 2010 that he planned to save the county almost $100,000 when he took office as trustee. He said at the time he would eliminate the assistant trustee position, then held by Dawn Patton. Hullander said he also would be making other staff replacements, but that Patton's position would be the only one eliminated.
Reached by phone Thursday, Levi said he had not been in contact with the office since he left the post following the election, but that Hullander had "gotten rid of the good ones" with his firings.
"I had a good crew up there," he said. "Whatever he does, well, that's his little red wagon."
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...