Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C.
Virginia's Civil Rights & Personal Injury Law Firm

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News - Civil Rights Suit Against Front Royal, Virginia

 11/19/98 – The Town of Front Royal was served with a federal law suit by Civil Rights Attorney Thomas H. Roberts on behalf of Isaac Thompson, alleging that the town and his former supervisors, Eugene Tewalt, the former Director of Public Works and Clarence Deavers, engaged in discrimination based on race in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1981 which makes it unlawful to discriminate by reason of race in the making and enforcement of contracts, and gives to African American citizens the same right to the full and equal benefit of all laws as is enjoyed by white citizens. And finally, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants violated the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The suit alleges that Isaac Thompson has been employed by the town since October of 1986. During this time he was passed up four times for the position of Motor Equipment Operator 3, a position that was available, for which he was qualified, and for which he had applied. The suit alleges Isaac Thompson was passed up for the position because of his race. According to the suit papers, when the plaintiff complained to Tewalt about not being promoted, Tewalt told him that Black people always thought that their race entitled them to special treatment. The suit papers state that Deavers and Tewalt have abused the plaintiff verbally, and Deavers has abused the plaintiff physically, that Deavers told his crew that he did not want "this nigger pin," in Thompson’s presence. The suit contends that Tewalt criticized the work of white employees by saying, "This is sloppy work. If this was a bunch of niggers I would expect this, but y’all are white." The suit alleges that Deavers told the plaintiff, "I’m a Klansman and Mr. Tewalt is the head. He just swore me in for one more year last week. If you really get down to it, y’all should’ve stayed slaves." In the Federal Action, Thompson complains that after he protested the manner in which he was treated Deavers stated, "What could a man do if these hands got around his neck?"

Thompson previously filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Commission in Washington, D.C.


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