CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - 60-year-old Debra Marlow walked out of the federal courthouse disappointed that 8 jurors decided on a verdict in favor of her former employer. Marlow sued Chesterfield County Public Schools for age discrimination.
After about 8 hours of weighing the civil suit, 8 jurors announced they unanimously found in favor of Chesterfield County Public Schools. Superintendent Doctor Marcus Newsome did not re-locate former school spokesperson Debra Marlow because of her age.
After two days of testimony, surrounded by a trio of county lawyers- Doctor Newsome walked out of the courthouse alone, and content.
"We knew that we were on the right side of the law. We had done what was right for our employees. I wish Ms. Marlow well. I hope she can be at peace as we're at peace," said Newsome.
For two days this week- Marlow's attorneys argued the 20 year employee was re-assigned to a new job and her former assistant, Tim Bullis, got moved up. A year later, Marlow's new job was cut in the recession. Marlow pleaded to get back her old job, at the expense of Bullis, only to be denied on the basis -she claims- of technology skills.
"I wanted to hold them accountable and attempted to do that. I'm disappointed. But I have no regrets," Marlow said.
Marlow, Newsome and a handful of other school employees testified. Twice during deliberations jurors asked for clarification on information.
"The jury did their job. They obviously did it well and took a long time to make that decision. And I appreciate that work," Marlow stated.
Tonight Marlow hugged her family, who stuck by her as she prepared her case over the last 22 months. Marlow was asking for at least $98,000 in damages. Tonight...she gets none of that.
Superintendent Newsome says the county used its own attorneys and didn't spend a dime on extra legal help. We asked Debra Marlow if she was going to appeal the decision. She offered no comment.