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SPC president regrets retaliating against job candidate



Sherry Davis applied for a St. Petersburg College provost job.

Davis didn't get the job.

Davis filed a gender discrimination complaint.

Bill Law, the president of SPC, tattled on her to her current employer. "I would certainly want to know if any of my senior employees was involved in a legal matter that could affect the college," he wrote in a letter to Davis' boss.

On Tuesday, Law said he probably should not have done that. "I'm not a smart guy. There are day when - that's why I said I'm good at mulligans. If it happened tomorrow, I wouldn't send it," said Law in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times' editorial board.

Indeed, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that Law was not engaging in a professional couresy, but retaliating against Davis, the academic dean at Lawson State Community College in Alabama, for speaking out about possible discrimination.

Law told the Times editorial board that he had been upset. He felt the process had been fair. And while he said he regretted sending the letter to Davis's boss and her professional references, he maintained a she-started-it mentality.

"She put the ball in play," Law said. "Look, if I knew it was going to lead to this I wouldn’t have done it. I think people need to take responsibility for their actions, I mean to be perfectly honest, she’s the one who filed what I consider to be a pretty frivolous grievance."

The EEOC did not make a finding of gender discrimination, but Davis filed suit against both Law and the board of trustees. She's seeking the provost position at the downtown campus, which was instead given to Kevin Gordon. She is also asking for back pay, benefits, and other compensation in the suit filed in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court.

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 3:24pm]


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