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Ex-county worker plans to go to school

Now that his discrimination lawsuit against Citrus County government is resolved, James Brunswick is looking to move on.

"I'm going back to school. I haven't decided for what yet," Brunswick said during an interview. He said he might study engineering or medicine.

Brunswick resigned his post as a county utilities operator as part of a settlement agreement that the County Commission approved Tuesday. The agreement also called for Brunswick to receive $99,000.

"I wanted to go to trial with this whole thing, but I've been persuaded not to by my attorney," Brunswick said.

Brunswick, who began working for the county in 1995, said in his 2004 lawsuit that he had been subjected to a steady stream of anti-Semitic comments by a co-worker.

The county investigated and considered a five-day suspension for the man who made the comments. But the suspension was later rescinded, and the employee was given a written reprimand instead.

Brunswick also alleged other unfair and discriminatory actions were taken against him by county employees.

"My resignation was part of the settlement. That's one of the things I felt really bad about," he said Tuesday. "It seems like I've been the one who's been punished and the people that have done the criminal acts have basically gotten away with it."

Randy Petitt, the county's human resources director, said Wednesday that the settlement didn't constitute any admissions by the county or any statement about the suit's allegations.

Brunswick mounted an unsuccessful bid for the County Commission District 4 seat earlier this year. He was defeated in the Democratic primary by Bernie Leven, who went on to lose to Republican John Thrumston.