Agency Settles Discrimination Suit With GOP Job Candidate

Posted December 3, 2009 at 3:03pm

The Election Assistance Commission has reached a financial settlement with a Republican lawyer who was allegedly refused employment because of his political affiliation.The Office of Special Counsel released the previously unknown investigation’s findings on the agency’s Web site on Wednesday.The terms of the deal and the lawyer’s name were not released, nor would the EAC provide details of the settlement.“We are glad the situation has been resolved, and we are moving forward in a fair and inclusive manner to appoint a general counsel,— EAC spokeswoman Jeannie Layson said in an e-mail.Although the agency did not formally admit fault in the settlement, the Office of Special Counsel wrote in its statement that its investigation “uncovered evidence indicating that the EAC illegally refused to approve the complainant’s appointment because he was a Republican.“In late 2008, the four EAC Commissioners selected the complainant as the agency’s General Counsel. Shortly after, two of the Commissioners refused to approve his appointment,— the Office of Special Counsel stated in its release. “After the complainant’s selection, these Commissioners researched his off-the-job political activity or received contacts about his appointment.—“The Constitutional right to associate with the political party of one’s choice means very little if one cannot freely exercise this right,— government investigators concluded. “OSC also expressed its appreciation to the EAC for its cooperation in the investigation and willingness to resolve the complaint, thus avoiding the possibility of protracted litigation.—