Friday, November 24, 2017
News Roundup

Judge dismisses discrimination complaint against Hernando supervisor of elections

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BROOKSVILLE — A federal judge on Friday dismissed a discrimination case filed late last year against the Hernando County supervisor of elections by a former employee.

Tekova Castillo, who had worked for previous supervisor Annie Williams, alleged that he lost his job because of discriminatory practices by Williams and the county.

His specific allegation involved a statement made by former County Commission­er Jeff Stabins. Castillo, who is black, said that Stabins would visit him in the Spring Hill election office to warn him that when Williams retired and Shirley Anderson was elected, he would probably lose his job.

According to Castillo, Stabins once asked him how he would like being a "ditch digger'' and then he used a racial epithet. Stabins has strongly denied using the word.

U.S. District Judge Richard Lazarra agreed with several county pleadings, which argued that the Supervisor of Elections Office is separate from that of the County Commission and so whatever Stabins might have said didn't have a direct impact on Williams.

Lazarra gave Castillo's attorney three more chances to file an acceptable complaint. Castillo, Lazarra concluded in his dismissal order, in his last complaint "appears to be combining the two distinct entities into one employer, which he may not do.''

While the judge dismissed the case, he did not award costs and attorney's fees to the supervisor of elections.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

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