Discrimination suit goes to trial

Mai Hoang

Charles E. Whaley, a man who filed suit against Western last year, will get his day in court tomorrow morning.

Whaley filed a civil suit in 2001 in Warren County Circuit Court claiming that Western violated the Kentucky Civil Rights Act by choosing not to hire him based on his gender and disability.

Whaley was one of 10 people who applied for the position of associate director of the Center for Gifted Studies between August and December 2000. The person eventually hired for the post, Tracy Inman, is a woman.

Whaley said in a deposition taken in March that he felt he was more qualified than Inman for the job and that hiring Inman benefited center director Julia Roberts since Inman had “credentials as a non-threatening subordinate individual that she would be working with.”

Whaley has also claimed that his disability played a role in his not being hired for the position. Both of Whaley’s ankles were crushed in a 1996 car accident.

Whaley’s attorney John Frith Stewart, of Louisville, said he is confident that Whaley’s case is based on current facts and information he has seen.

“We feel good about the case,” he said. “We feel that we are in the position that the jury could find for Mr. Whaley.”

Bowling Green attorney Greg Stivers said he would not comment on any current litigation, but did say he has confidence in Western’s position in the case.

General Counsel Deborah Wilkins echoed Stivers’ remarks Thursday.

“We complied with all the federal and state hiring properties,” she said. “I am comfortable that we didn’t do anything wrong.”