KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A former Crawford County Sheriff’s deputy filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday alleging the sheriff terminated her because of her age, calling her too “feeble.”
Mary Mays, a more than 20 year veteran of the sheriff’s office, alleges she was fired last fall after failing a firearms test. Other, younger deputies were allowed to retake the test, the lawsuit claims, but Mays was let go because of her age. Mays accuses the county of age discrimination.
″(The sheriff) stated that he was doing so because she was too ‘old’ and too ‘feeble’ to do the job,” the lawsuit said of Mays’ termination.
The petition names the Board of Crawford County Commissioners, not Sheriff Dan Peak, as the county is the employer under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, according the the lawsuit.
Jim Emerson, county counselor, said he was unaware of the lawsuit Tuesday and wouldn’t comment without reviewing it. Peak also declined to comment.
Mays, 59 at the time she was fired, failed a firearms test and was terminated in October.
“At all times, she met the legitimate job expectations of his employer,” the lawsuit said.
Mays filed a complaint of age discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After an inquiry, the commission notified Mays of her right to sue under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
The lawsuit requests a trial by jury in Kansas City, Kan., and unspecified damages, including back pay and attorneys’ fees.
Stephen Thornberry of Kansas City, Mo-based Thornberry Brown flied the lawsuit on Mays behalf.