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APD Lt. Bryan LaVoie: I was not promoted because I am white

By   /   February 7, 2011  /   Comments

By Kevin Hogencamp

Albany police Lt. Bryan LaVoie claims in a federal lawsuit that he was overlooked for a promotion to captain and receives a lower salary than his counterparts because of his race.

LaVoie, 43, is white. He sued the City of Albany, which has a majority black City Commission, black city manager, Alfred Lott, and black police chief, John Proctor.

LaVoie’s suit is filed in U.S. District Court. He is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

The suit isn’t a surprise to city officials, who refused to comment, because LaVoie previously filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which last year issued him a “right to sue” letter at his request.

LaVoie has worked for the department since 1993. In his suit LaVoie claims that he is not alone. “Plaintiff and other white employees have been paid less than their African American counterparts,” he says in the suit.

LaVoie says the damages to him aren’t limited to financial setbacks.

“Plaintiff has suffered emotional distress, mental pain and suffering, past and future pecuniary losses, inconvenience, bodily injury, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and other non-pecuniary, losses, along with lost back and front pay, interest on pay, bonuses, and other benefits,” the suit says.

Specifically, LaVoie’s beef is about the captain’s position he applied for in mid-2009.

“On or about September 25, 2009 a memorandum was issued by the Chief of Police indicating that all of the candidates selected for the position of Captain have been notified,” the suit says. “On or about December 2, 2009, the Chief of Police issued a memorandum announcing the name of the individuals who were selected for the position of Captain. Five of the six individuals who were selected are African American. The only white individual selected for Captain was an external candidate.

“Plaintiff has been denied promotions while less experienced African Americans have been promoted over him. At all relevant times, Plaintiff’s qualifications exceeded the qualifications of those who were selected for promotion to Captain.”

LaVoie, who is demanding a jury trial, is represented by Tallahassee attorney David G. Sullivan of Solomon, Sullivan, Romo, & Durrett.

The city government is liable for differential treatment toward LaVoie, the lawsuit says, “because it controlled the actions and inactions of the persons making decisions affecting Plaintiff or it knew or should have known of these actions and inactions and failed to take prompt and adequate remedial action or took no action at all to prevent the abuses to Plaintiff,” the lawsuit further says. “Furthermore, Defendant knowingly condoned and ratified the differential treatment of Plaintiff as more fully set forth above because it

allowed the differential treatment and participated in same. Defendant’s known allowance and ratification of these actions and inactions actions created, perpetuated, and facilitated an abusive and offensive work environment within the meaning of the statutes referenced above.

“In essence, the actions of agents of Defendant, which were each condoned and

ratified by Defendant, were of a race-based nature and in violation of the laws set forth herein.”

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  1. Clark says:

    He’s not the only white guy done wrong by the city.

  2. Truth B Known says:

    Alot of people are going to take this the wrong way.But what is being said is true.There are alot of race problems in Albany.But the Officals running this town are responseable as much as anyone.The race card gets played alot here.And if more white people dont stand up and start talking about it,it will not get better.We have been tought to not use certain words to talk about one race or another.Yet it happens.But our Officals are to be setting an example.And they make it worse.We have some very good black people in office,and some very nasty white people.
    I dont care what color you are if you treat me well,i will treat you the same way.
    But Mr. Lott has brought alot of this on Albany,and the Mayor has not helped a bit.
    I have had my problems with some of the Officals,white and black.But you have to look at who is running Albany.Nathan Davis,Willie,Al,! That is our problem,you have 2 black men in there that thinks the world owes them everything.And then the White man(Nathan)Oh he has gotten to kiss butt so much just so he can keep his job,or he would be out.And he still needs to be charged with his screw up.As does Alfred.
    All of you Officals,You work for us,not the other way around.
    People should be judged on there work,not there color.And they should also get the same protection as does our Officals.I have gone before the County Commission,and the City.And i have to say the County handles things better than the City.Now dont go getting the big heads County.You all need some soul serching your selfs.
    We all are going to live together in this world till the day it ends.And I myself am not going to live what is left of my life,being the kind of person i was raised to be.
    I like everyone,untill you give me a reason not to.And the City has played hell with me there.And they are race problems that all they are doing is making them worse.
    I am so sorry some black people were treated the way they were years ago.But i did not do it.And i would not have stood around and watch it be done to anyone.But that was years ago.This is now.We need to do what is right for each person,on job performice,and the old way,years on the job.We have people right here in Albany that could do the job of any of the Officals here.That know Albany,and have not given up on it.Let them get in there for a while,and if they dont do good,fire them.But dont keep paying someone for a job they are not doing becuase of color.And dont let anyone get away with breaking the law just becuase they work in that job,as in Police cheif,Fire Firghter,Mayor,City Man.(AL)Nathan.. You know all of this bothers me,but more than any of it.The one thing i can not and will not understand is how Nathan Davis got away with having a gun and knife in his drawer at work.What if some nutt job were to go there,and just happen on them,and then start killing people? Would they charge him then.? And Al,parking in a Handicap parking.It should have not been a warrning,it should have been a fine.I mean you do get a fine now for baggie pants.
    And i am like others there,that is coverd as indecent expouser.(i know i am not the best speller,but i admit it)And the Mayor getting to ride around own our dime.He should be made to pay that back.I dont say much about the others,the reason being,you all are there boss,they do as you say.There need to be some new laws made,but they need to be made to people applying for jobs that means running this City.And do background checks you guys,dont just get someone to come in and say this person is ok,and then give them alot of money for doing your job.If you all can not make those decisions you do not need to have the job you have.
    Back to the suject at hand.Maybe white people need to get up off there butts and just stop complaining and do something.I mean no offense here.but what i am about to say is ture.Think about it.When a black person complains,or sue for racial,or gets done wrong,they let it be known.And they get what they fight for.Thats the thing,dont matter the color of your skin.Fight for what is right. God Bless

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