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PERJURY: City lawyer says she isn’t the one lying

By   /   July 13, 2011  /   Comments

 

By Kevin Hogencamp

Mary LaMont, the city’s former human resources director, has provided documentation that she says supports her earlier claim that Assistant City Attorney Jenise Smith lied under oath during a state labor hearing. But Smith says LaMont is the one who is lying.

At issue is Smith’s testimony during LaMont’s Georgia Department of Labor unemployment compensation hearing following LaMont’s 2010 departure from city hall; the city’s position statement on a discrimination complaint filed by a fired city worker; and audio tapes of city hall discussions secretly recorded by LaMont.

Providing the Labor Department hearing transcript and other public records as evidence, LaMont detailed her allegations that Smith committed perjury in a June 27 letter to the Georgia Bar Association and in a July 5 letter to the Albany City Commission.

The fired city worker’s position statement and some tape recordings contain some information that is contradictory to Smith’s sworn Labor Department testimony. Smith, however, says that another former city worker, Niger Thomas, authored the position statement and that Smith only edited it.

“Nathan Davis, the city attorney, signed the letter to the (U.S.) EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Niger Thomas wrote the EEOC position statement, and Nathan and I edited it,” Smith said Tuesday.

“The complaint is bogus. All of her allegations against me are lies,” Smith added.

Despite the City Commission being made aware of the Bar Association complaint last week, Smith said she said did not know about the Bar complaint until being informed it by a reporter on Tuesday. Smith says she’ll provide The Albany Journal with a more detailed response after having adequate time to review LaMont’s complaint and the associated public records.

LaMont, who resigned her position last year, has tape recordings documenting illegal activity, rules violations and mismanagement by her former boss, former City Manager Alfred Lott, and some of his subordinates.  The Albany Journal has reviewed some of those recordings.

In her letter to the Bar Association, LaMont said Smith “committed the offense of perjury multiple times as outlined below during my Georgia Department of Labor (GA DOL) Unemployment Appeal Hearing on August 31, 2010 regarding matters directly relevant to the issues underlying my departure from employment with the City of Albany … and  repeatedly committed the offense of perjury multiple times in the City of Albany Respondent’s Position Statement submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as detailed below regarding matters directly relevant to the issues underlying my departure from employment with the City of Albany.”

Specifically, LaMont says that Smith committed perjury by testifying that:

-          City employee Beverly McCrimmon complained of a pay disparity based on race; public records show that is not the case.

-          The fired worker falsely stated on her application that the fired worker has a technical college degree, and that the fired worker had only completed a vocational school course, when public records show that the fired worker has a one-year diploma from what was then named Albany Area Technical College.

-          Smith did not know that LaMont had written a letter on March 11 terminating the fired worker until about two weeks later; public records show that on March 12, Smith drafted a new termination letter on Lott’s behalf to – according to Smith – correct errors in LaMont’s March 11 letter.

-          The fired worker was the highest-paid human resources administration; public records show that’s not the case.

-          The city has four human resources administrator positions; public records show that is not the case.

Georgia law states “Any person who shall knowingly testify falsely, under oath, or shall knowingly make, give, or produce any false statements or false evidence, under oath, to the Commissioner of Labor, or his authorized representatives commits the offense of perjury.”

Further, state law says: “Any employing unit or any officer or agent of an employing unit or any other person who knowingly makes a false statement or representation or who knowingly fails to disclose a material fact in order to prevent or reduce the payment of benefits to any individual entitled thereto or to avoid becoming or remaining subject to this chapter or to avoid or reduce any contribution or other payment required from an employing unit under this chapter or who willfully fails or refuses to make any such contributions or other payment or to furnish any reports required under this chapter or to produce or permit the inspection or copying of records as required under this chapter shall upon conviction be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment not to exceed one year or fined not more than $1,000 or shall be subject to both such fine and imprisonment.  Each such act shall constitute a separate offense.”

Former Assistant City Attorney Kathy Strang also says that city officials provided false testimony during her  unemployment compensation hearing. Participants in the labor hearings are required to take an oath to tell the truth under threat of being charged with perjury. Strang has been given the green light by the EEOC to file a federal discrimination suit.

LaMont, meanwhile, also is pursuing an EEOC complaint. While LaMont says that the city has attempted to purchase  her secret tape recordings from her; Lott and City Commission members refuse to comment on LaMont’s complaints.

Editor’s note: This is LaMont’s Georgia Bar Association complaint.

June 27, 2011

 

Attn: Paula Frederick, General Counsel

State Bar of Georgia, Office of General Counsel

104 Marietta Street, NW, Suite 100

Atlanta, GA  30303

 

Dear Paula Frederick:

 

I am the former Director of Human Resources for the City of Albany where Jenise Shicole Smith is currently employed.  I requested and was denied unemployment benefits after the City of Albany’s constructive discharge efforts against me succeeded on July 12, 2010.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith, GA Bar No. 163920 repeatedly committed the offense of perjury multiple times as outlined below during my Georgia Department of Labor (GA DOL) Unemployment Appeal Hearing on August 31, 2010 regarding matters directly relevant to the issues underlying my departure from employment with the City of Albany.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith, GA Bar No. 163920 repeatedly committed the offense of perjury multiple times in the City of Albany Respondent’s Position Statement submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as detailed below regarding matters directly relevant to the issues underlying my departure from employment with the City of Albany.

 

I recently obtained a copy of the City of Albany Respondent’s (Jenise Shicole Smith) Position Statement (enclosed for your review) submitted in response to an official EEOC Charge of Discrimination filed by Martha “Faye” Everson (white female).  The purpose of this written communication is to submit a written report alerting the State Bar of Georgia to multiple acts of perjury committed by State Bar of Georgia member Jenise Shicole Smith, GA Bar No. 163920.

 

O.C.G.A. Section 34-2-13(b) explicitly provides:

“Any person who shall knowingly testify falsely, under oath, or shall knowingly make, give, or produce any false statements or false evidence, under oath, to the Commissioner of Labor, or his authorized representatives commits the offense of perjury.”

O.C.G.A. Section 34-8-256 (b) provides:

“Any employing unit or any officer or agent of an employing unit or any other person who knowingly makes a false statement or representation or who knowingly fails to disclose a material fact in order to prevent or reduce the payment of benefits to any individual entitled thereto or to avoid becoming or remaining subject to this chapter or to avoid or reduce any contribution or other payment required from an employing unit under this chapter or who willfully fails or refuses to make any such contributions or other payment or to furnish any reports required under this chapter or to produce or permit the inspection or copying of records as required under this chapter shall upon conviction be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment not to exceed one year or fined not more than $1,000.00 or shall be subject to both such fine and imprisonment.  Each such act shall constitute a separate offense.”

 

Jenise Shicole Smith, (black female) Assistant City Attorney is an Appointed Official who authored (although she did not sign) the City of Albany Respondent’s Position Statement in response to Martha “Faye” Everson’s EEOC Charge of Discrimination (EEOC Official Charge # 410-2010-02479).

 

Jenise Shicole Smith testified under oath during my August 31, 2010 Georgia Department of Labor (GA DOL) Unemployment Appeal Hearing (transcript enclosed for your review) that an employee (Beverly McCrimmon, black female) who had the same position as Martha “Faye” Everson complained of a pay disparity and alleged it was based on race thereby accusing me of racial discrimination in the hiring and starting pay rate of Martha “Faye” Everson.

 

I have enclosed a copy of Ms. McCrimmon’s complaint for your review (which I was not permitted to view during my employment with the City of Albany).  Ms. McCrimmon’s specific complaint against me was that I, as the HR Director, refused to consider a request for a pay adjustment Ms. McCrimmon requested from her direct supervisor Niger Thomas (black female), EEO Manager.  Nowhere in Ms. McCrimmon’s complaint does she mention either her race or the race of Ms. Everson.  Nowhere in Ms. McCrimmon’s complaint does she allege racial discrimination or disparate pay based on race.  Nowhere in Ms. McCrimmon’s complaint does she mention, include, or exclude the Risk Management division of the HR Department.

 

Ms. Thomas never informed me of Ms. McCrimmon’s request for consideration of a pay adjustment therefore it is not possible I could have denied a request from Ms. McCrimmon that I had no knowledge of prior to receiving a copy of the complaint on September 4, 2010.

 

March 11, 2010 Niger Thomas, EEO Manager informed me she and Jenise Shicole Smith had concluded their investigation into the McCrimmon/Everson matter which produced no evidence of any Title VII violation committed by me.  Ms. Thomas specifically stated several times that their (Ms. Thomas and Jenise Shicole Smith) investigation concluded the matter was the sole result of administrative errors, not racial discrimination.

 

I have audiotape recordings of various meetings wherein Niger Thomas, EEO Manager, Jenise Shicole Smith, Assistant City Attorney, and C. Nathan Davis, City Attorney wherein all specifically stated no one was trying to say I did anything wrong, no one was trying to say I wrote a false Termination Letter, and no one was trying to say I was insubordinate.  Jenise Shicole Smith continued to communicate all three false accusations (including under oath during my GA DOL Unemployment Appeal Hearing) even after the investigation concluded I committed no wrongdoing and specifically had not committed any Title VII violation.

 

Regarding the information submitted in the first paragraph under the heading of “Factual Background” Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) stated, “On September 25, 2009, Ms. Everson, then 61 years of age, received an employment offer from the (City of Albany) Human Resource Director, Mary LaMont, because, according to Ms. LaMont, Everson possessed 15 years of experience as a Benefits Administrator with her previous employer.”  This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, this statement is misleading and a self serving attempt to distort the fact that LaVerna Knighton Porter, (black female) Compensation & Benefits Manager made the final recommendation to City Manager Alfred Lott (black male) to hire Ms. Everson as evident by Ms. Knighton Porter’s recommendation letter to City Manager Alfred Lott dated September 17, 2009 (enclosed for your review).  City Manager Alfred Lott verified his final approval of Ms. Knighton Porter’s final recommendation after I verified my approval with my signature.  Ms. Knighton Porter emailed me a rough draft of Ms. Everson’s Offer letter.  I directed Ms. Knighton Porter to edit her draft by removing the sentence stating I approved the pay rate and add signature lines for me to sign verifying my approval.  I prefer to apply my signature of approval as opposed to someone alleging I approved something.

 

An interview panel comprised of 2 black males, 1 black female, 1 white female, 1 white male, and 1 Asian female (all chosen by Ms. Knighton Porter) selected Ms. Everson as the best qualified candidate because of her most recent 15 years of benefits experience with her current Employer, an international organization with more than 1,000 employees.

 

LaVerna Knighton Porter, Compensation & Benefits Manager was responsible for the recruitment, selection, and hiring of Ms. Everson.  I held authority to object to the interview panel and/or Ms. Knighton Porter’s recommendation of Ms. Everson as the best qualified candidate, however I too believed Ms. Everson to be the best qualified candidate for the position based on her almost 23 years of successful experience (as evident by Ms. Knighton Porter’s documentation of Ms. Everson’s prior employment references) administering organizational benefits therefore there was no reason to object to either the interview panel or Ms. Knighton Porter’s recommendation to select (hire) Ms. Everson.  Ms. Knighton Porter made a verbal offer to Ms. Everson followed up by her written offer to hire.

 

Ms. Knighton Porter authored Ms. Everson’s offer letter (See attachment E).  I merely signed the document as Ms. Knighton Porter’s direct supervisor and as the Director of the Human Resource Department.  The practice of having the department Director sign the official offer letter is a (City of Albany) standard practice regardless of who actually made the hiring recommendation.  In Ms. Everson’s case, the hiring manager was LaVerna Knighton Porter, not Mary LaMont.

 

Regarding the information submitted in the first sentence of the second paragraph under the heading of “Factual Background” Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) stated, “On March 1, 2010, approximately 5 months after Everson began working in the department, a fellow Human Resources Administrator in the Employee & Organizational Development division filed an internal EEO complaint against Ms. LaMont.”  This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that Ms. McCrimmon filed an internal Grievance Statement stating that I, Mary LaMont, HR Director refused to give any consideration to Ms. McCrimmon’s request for a salary adjustment to reflect 13 years of service.  Ms. McCrimmon was one day shy of completing 12 years of service, not 13.  Ms. McCrimmon filed a Grievance Statement seeking a pay adjustment, not an EEO complaint alleging racial discrimination and/or disparate pay based on race.  In fact, Ms. McCrimmon makes absolutely no mention in her Grievance Statement of her race or the comparative employee’s race.  Ms. Thomas never informed me of Ms. McCrimmon’s request for a pay adjustment and in fact, it was this lie Ms. Thomas stated to Ms. McCrimmon that led to Ms. McCrimmon filing a complaint against me.  Specifically it was Ms. Thomas who refused to consider Ms. McCrimmon’s request for a pay adjustment by refusing to inform me that Ms. McCrimmon had made a request for consideration for a pay rate adjustment.

 

Regarding the information submitted in the second sentence of the second paragraph under the heading of “Factual Background” Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) stated, “The internal complainant filed the complaint after learning that Everson was the highest paid Human Resources Administrator, excluding the Risk Management Division.”  This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that Ms. McCrimmon’s Grievance Statement reflects Ms. McCrimmon makes no mention or comparison of her salary to any HR Administrator other than Ms. Everson.  Ms. McCrimmon makes absolutely no mention of Ms. Everson or anyone else being the “highest-paid HR Administrator.”  Ms. McCrimmon, in her Grievance Statement, makes absolutely no mention, reference, comparison, or exclusion of the Risk Management Division.

 

A comparison of all HR Administrator salaries (available for your review upon request) reflects Joyce Clark, (black female), HR Administrator, Workers’ Compensation was the highest paid HR Administrator (with less experience than either Ms. McCrimmon, HR Administrator, OED/EEO or Ms. Everson, HR Administrator, Compensation & Benefits).  Ms. Clark’s hourly rate was $2.07 more than Ms. McCrimmon’s and $1.22 more than Ms. Everson.  Ms. Everson’s salary was only $0.85 per hour more than Ms. McCrimmon’s although Ms. Everson possessed double the amount of experience as Ms. McCrimmon.

 

Regarding the information submitted in the first sentence of the third paragraph under the heading of “Factual Background” Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) stated, “First, Everson’s application indicated that her highest level of education was college.” This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that Ms. Everson answered the questions “What is your highest level of education?” and “Which best describes your level of education?” by typing “Technical College” as her responses.  In light of the fact that Albany Area Vocational School was later renamed Albany Technical School, and then later renamed again to its current name of Albany Technical College indicates Ms. Everson’s response to these questions are in fact true.  The current name of the education institute from which Ms. Everson graduated and was awarded a Vocational Diploma in Accounting is Albany Technical College.

Based solely on the information Ms. Everson provided in her application, Niger Thomas, EEO Manager was able to instantly identify the correct educational institute to contact to verify Ms. Everson’s education as stated on her employment application.  Ms. Thomas verified the information Ms. Everson reported on her (City of Albany) employment application with Albany Technical College.  Albany Technical College verified that in fact Ms. Everson had attended their institute in 1976 and 1977, Ms. Everson had successfully completed a one-year Accounting Program (not just a single course in Accounting as alleged by Jenise Shicole Smith), Ms. Everson had in fact graduated upon successful completion of the Accounting Program, and Ms. Everson had in fact been awarded a Diploma from Albany Technical College in 1977 when the institute was known as Albany Area Vocational School.

 

For the purpose of clarity, on March 10, 2010 during the meeting between Alfred Lott, (black male), City Manager, Jenise Shicole Smith, (black female) Assistant City Attorney, and Niger Thomas, (black female), EEO Manager, and myself wherein I was directed to terminate Ms. Everson, the only alleged falsification of an application the City of Albany alleged at that time against Ms. Everson was that Ms. Everson stated on her employment application that she possessed an AS Degree in Accounting, which the EEO manager had verified Ms. Everson did not possess.  During this meeting, there was never any allegation of any other incident of falsification of an application or any other wrongdoing.

 

During the meeting with City Manager Alfred Lott and Wes Smith, Assistant City Manager (during which Jenise Shicole Smith was constantly in and out of the meeting as a legal consultant to Alfred Lott) that occurred the morning of March 12, 2010, which was the morning after I terminated Ms. Everson, City Manager Alfred Lott permitted me to review what the City was alleging was Ms. Everson’s statement on her application that Ms. Everson possessed an AS Degree.  The falsification identified to me by City Manager Alfred Lott and Assistant City Attorney Jenise Shicole Smith was where Ms. Everson chose the word “Vocational” beside the words “Degree Received.”  At that time I informed everyone present (including Jenise Shicole Smith) that Vocational was, by its very definition, below the Degree level and as such, Ms. Everson did not state or in any way indicate anywhere on her application or resume` that she possessed an AS Degree.  Jenise Shicole Smith responded to the information by questioning how the City of Albany as the Employer could have known that Vocational was not an AS Degree.  I responded it was my job to know the hierarchy of educational achievements and someone could have asked the City’s Human Resource Director or contacted the Albany Technical College for verification before immediately submitting a recommendation to terminate.

 

It was during this March 12, 2010 meeting that Jenise Shicole Smith began to suggest different possibilities as to what information the City of Albany could allege as being a falsification of an application.  It is most telling that the original falsification of an application termination reason (i.e. Ms. Everson falsely stated she possessed an AS Degree) was not included in the Respondent’s (Jenise Shicole Smith) Position Statement submitted to the EEOC.

 

Regarding the information submitted in the second sentence of the third paragraph under the heading of “Factual Background” Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) stated, “However, further review of Everson’s personnel file revealed that she attended technical school, instead of college.” This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that a review of page 2 of Ms. Everson’s application (enclosed for your review) reveals Ms. Everson attended Albany Area Vocational School, which today is known as Albany Technical College.  Nowhere in Ms. Everson’s application or resume` does Ms. Everson state or indicate she attended “technical school, instead of college.”

 

Regarding the information submitted in the third and fourth sentences of the third paragraph under the heading of “Factual Background” Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) stated, “Second, and more significant, Everson indicated on her employment application that she graduated from Albany Technical College, but a review of her personnel file revealed that this information was false.  In fact, Everson merely attended Albany Technical School and received a Diploma, not a Degree, for completing a course in Accounting.”  This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that Ms. Thomas, EEO Manager verified with Albany Technical College that Ms. Everson did in fact successfully complete a one-year Accounting Program (for which she was awarded a Diploma from their educational institute), not merely a “course in Accounting” as alleged by Jenise Shicole Smith who prepared the Respondent’s (City of Albany) Position Statement in response to Ms. Everson’s EEOC Charge.  Furthermore, Ms. Thomas, EEO Manager verified that in fact Ms. Everson did graduate and was awarded a Diploma in honor of her successful completion of the Accounting Program, not merely completion of one Accounting course.  Nowhere in Ms. Everson’s application does she state or indicate she was awarded or possessed a Degree.

 

I have an audiotape recording and transcript of a meeting that occurred for the purpose of discussion of the City of Albany’s preparation to participate in an EEOC mediation concerning Ms. Everson’s official EEOC Charge.  During this mediation preparation meeting, Jenise Shicole Smith and C. Nathan Davis, City Attorney argued that no one could graduate without receiving a Degree and since Ms. Everson received a Diploma and not a Degree, she could not have graduated therefore Ms. Everson’s statement that she graduated was false.  I questioned all the meeting attendees (Nathan Davis, Jenise Shicole Smith, and Niger Thomas) as to whether they graduated from high school and if so, did they receive a Diploma – not a Degree in recognition of their educational achievement.  All responded in the affirmative.

 

During the above referenced meeting, I reminded the attendees that the only falsification alleged on March 10, 2010 when I was directed to terminate Ms. Everson was that Ms. Everson falsely stated on her application that she possessed an AS Degree.  There was no other allegation of any other incident of falsification of an application alleged at that time.  Furthermore, the only allegation of falsification of an application that I was informed of on March 10, 2010 turned out not to be a falsification.  March 12, 2010 was the first time other falsifications were alleged.  I again explained that all Vocational achievements are below the Degree level.  Jenise Shicole Smith again asked how the City of Albany as the Employer could have known that Vocational was not a Degree.  Niger Thomas stated she too inferred Ms. Everson was implying she had an AS Degree by choosing Vocational from the drop down menu.

 

Regarding the information submitted in the fifth sentence of the third paragraph under the heading of “Factual Background” Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) stated, “Last, according to Everson’s employment application and personnel file, her most recent level of education was a GED.” This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that during the 1970s, a high school Diploma or GED was not a prerequisite required before admission into any vocational and/or technical school.  Vocational and technical achievements are post-secondary educational achievements above the GED and high school Diploma level.  Ms. Everson’s achievement of her GED 17 years after her Accounting Diploma achievement does not indicate the Accounting Diploma is an achievement below the high school level.

 

I expressed my concern with the fact that a “scenario” had been performed by Jenise Shicole Smith to determine the least litigious (most defensible) reason to terminate Ms. Everson.  I repeatedly voiced my belief that I was chosen to terminate Ms. Everson solely because of my skin color (white and the same race as Ms. Everson).  I expressed concern that all information regarding the McCrimmon/Everson matter had been withheld from me and all the usual white participants involved in internal grievances and investigations had been removed and replaced by all black participants.

 

Regarding the information submitted in the last sentence of the fourth paragraph under the heading of “Factual Background” Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) stated, “Upon learning these facts, Alfred Lott directed Ms. LaMont, Everson’s most senior supervisor, to terminate Everson’s employment due to the false information that she provided on her employment application.”  This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that Ms. Everson’s direct supervisor prior to and during the time Ms. Everson was terminated was Entra Holly Blackmon, (black male) Interim Compensation & Benefits Manager.  Mr. Blackmon was not informed of the allegation against Ms. Everson until after Ms. Everson was terminated and Mr. Blackmon was not involved in the investigation or recommendation to terminate Ms. Everson.  There did not exist a conflict of interest with Mr. Blackmon being involved in the McCrimmon or Everson matters.  There exists no defensible reason for why Mr. Blackmon could not or should not have been directed to terminate one of his direct subordinates.  Mr. Blackmon was Ms. Everson’s direct supervisor and Ms. Everson was Mr. Blackmon’s direct subordinate employee.  It is telling that the Respondent (City of Albany) failed to inform the EEOC of this very relevant fact.

 

Regarding the information submitted in the first and second sentences of the fifth paragraph under the heading of “Factual Background” Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) stated, “On March 11, 2010, Ms. LaMont issued a Termination Letter to Everson.  Ms. LaMont’s letter, however, blatantly omits the reason why Everson was terminated and completely ignores Alfred Lott’s explicit directive to Ms. LaMont to terminate Everson because of the false information she provided on her application.” This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that I wrote Ms. Everson’s Termination Letter based solely on what Alfred Lott, City Manager identified as the termination reason on March 10, 2010 when he directed me to terminate Ms. Everson and what Niger Thomas explained to me previously about neither Ms. Everson or Ms. McCrimmon meeting the minimum qualifications of their positions.  Alfred Lott, City Manager informed me Ms. Everson falsified her application by stating she had an AS Degree she did not possess, that he did not know if the falsification was intentional or not, and to give Ms. Everson a 30-day severance.  I deduced that Ms. Everson must have assumed her Accounting Diploma was the equivalent of an AS Degree, so perhaps this is why she thought she met the minimum requirements and why she stated she possessed an AS Degree when in fact she did not.  In my haste to prepare a written termination notice prior to meeting with Ms. Everson, I did not state the words falsification of an application in the termination notification letter, however I did inform Ms. Everson verbally during her termination meeting that she was being terminated for falsification of an application, specifically stating on her employment application that she possessed an AS Degree she did not possess.

 

March 12, 2010, I typed and submitted (to Niger Thomas, EEO Manager as requested the morning following Ms. Everson’s termination meeting) a list of the questions Ms. Everson asked during her termination meeting on March 11, 2010.  Ms. Thomas immediately submitted the questions to Jenise Shicole Smith who immediately delivered the list of questions to Alfred Lott, City Manager.  Within a few minutes of submitting Ms. Everson’s questions to Ms. Thomas, I was directed to report immediately to the City Manager’s office with a copy of Ms. Everson’s Termination Letter.   After Alfred Lott, City Manager and Jenise Shicole Smith, Assistant City Attorney finished reading the Termination Letter I wrote and Ms. Everson’s 13 questions, Alfred Lott, City Manager and Jenise Shicole Smith, Assistant City Attorney both refused to consider Ms. Everson’s questions as evidence that I had in fact informed Ms. Everson that the City of Albany was terminating her employment due to falsification of an application.

 

Regarding the information submitted in the third sentence of the fifth paragraph under the heading of “Factual Background” Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) stated, “After learning of Ms. LaMont’s failure to follow his directive, Alfred Lott submitted a second Termination Letter to Everson, on March 12, 2010, to correct the error and inform Everson that she was terminated for submitting false information on her application.”  This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that I observed Jenise Shicole Smith type the second Termination Letter to Ms. Everson on the computer of Alfred Lott’s executive assistant, (Deborah Brown) on the morning of March 12, 2010 (enclosed for your review).  Jenise Shicole Smith delivered the second Termination Letter to Alfred Lott, City Manager for his signature during the March 12, 2010 morning meeting after Alfred Lott and Jenise Shicole Smith read the Termination Letter I wrote.  The second Termination Letter reflects Jenise Shicole Smith’s initials (jss) as the author of the document.

 

In the Respondent’s (Jenise Shicole Smith) Position Statement, Jenise Shicole Smith stated Alfred Lott signed the second Termination Letter.  Jenise Shicole Smith omitted the fact that she, not Alfred Lott authored the second Termination Letter “to correct the error” in the Termination Letter I wrote.

 

Just over a month after submitting the Respondent’s (Jenise Shicole Smith) Position Statement to the EEOC, Jenise Shicole Smith falsely testified to a completely different account of this matter by testifying under oath to the GA DOL that she did not see the Termination Letter I wrote to Ms. Everson until weeks after Ms. Everson was terminated.  Jenise Shicole Smith further falsely testified that the second Termination Letter was written in response to the list of questions Ms. Everson asked during her termination meeting and that Jenise Shicole Smith had no knowledge of the Termination Letter I wrote or if in fact I had given a Termination Letter to Ms. Everson at the time Ms. Everson was terminated.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly, falsely and misleadingly insinuated that her investigation concluded I had committed the Title VII violations she testified Ms. McCrimmon alleged, specifically racial discrimination and disparate pay based on race in the hiring and starting pay rate of Ms. Everson.  Jenise Shicole Smith misleadingly withheld the relevant fact that Niger Thomas and Jenise Shicole Smith’s investigation concluded no such violations occurred after their investigation failed to produce any evidence of Title VII violation.

 

Regarding the information submitted in the third and fourth sentences of the first paragraph under the heading of “Race & Age Deciscrimination Allegations” Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) stated, “Ms. LaMont, a white female, thus a member of Everson’s protected class, made the final recommendation to hire Everson.  Moreover, City Manager, Alfred Lott, a black male, upheld Ms. LaMont’s decision to hire Everson.”  This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that LaVerna Knighton Porter, a black female and thus not a member of Everson’s protected class, made the final recommendation to hire Ms. Everson.  City Manager Alfred Lott upheld Ms. Knighton Porter’s recommendation.

 

Regarding the information submitted in the sixth sentence of the first paragraph under the heading of “Race & Age Deciscrimination Allegations” Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) stated, “Alfred Lott directed Ms. LaMont to terminate Everson only after learning that Everson provided false information on her application.” This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that Alfred Lott directed me to terminate Ms. Everson only after Jenise Shicole Smith falsely alleged to Alfred Lott, City Manager that a black female employee filed an internal EEO complaint against the white HR Director for racial discrimination and disparate pay on the basis of race.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly falsely testified under oath on August 31, 2010 that Alfred Lott, City Manager made the recommendation to terminate Ms. Everson.  The City Manager is the final decision maker concerning all matters involving all City of Albany employees and as such, Alfred Lott, City Manager received and upheld Jenise Shicole Smith’s recommendation to terminate Ms. Everson.  Jenise Shicole Smith neglected to inform either the GA DOL or the EEOC that it was Jenise Shicole Smith who made the recommendation to terminate Ms. Everson or that Jenise Shicole Smith, in her position as Assistant City Attorney, had no authority (under either the City Charter or the City of Albany Personnel Management System (PMS) to make any recommendation to retain or terminate any employee.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith advised Alfred Lott that Ms. McCrimmon had a prima fascia case due to the fact that Ms. Everson and I are both white and on that basis recommended Ms. Everson’s termination as an acceptable resolution to Ms. McCrimmon’s EEO complaint.  It is most telling that the Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) neglected to provide the EEOC with a copy of Ms. McCrimmon’s Grievance Statement.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly committed perjury when she testified under oath on August 31, 2010 during my GA DOL Unemployment Appeal Hearing that my conduct was being investigated.  Jenise Shicole Smith withheld the fact from the GA DOL that it was “alleged” conduct ultimately determined to be without merit.  Jenise Shicole Smith had full knowledge on August 31, 2010 that the investigation she assisted in concluded there was no evidence of any Title VII violation committed by me.   Jenise Shicole Smith had full knowledge on August 31, 2010 that the investigation she assisted in concluded there was no evidence that I had participated in any wrongdoing, however Jenise Shicole Smith continued to make intentionally misleading statements insinuating I participated in racial discrimination.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely under oath on August 31, 2010 that there were only four HR Administrator positions.  Jenise Shicole Smith had and has full knowledge that there are five HR Administrator positions.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified under oath on August 31, 2010 that the Beverly McCrimmon filed an internal EEO complaint and alleged that Ms. Everson was the highest paid HR Administrator.  This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that Ms. McCrimmon did not file an internal EEO complaint; Ms. McCrimmon filed an internal Grievance Statement.  Ms. McCrimmon made no statement in her Grievance Statement alleging Ms. Everson was the highest paid HR Administrator.  In fact, Ms. McCrimmon made no reference at all to the highest paid HR Administrator.  I informed Jenise Shicole Smith on March 12, 2010 that Joyce Clark, HR Administrator, Workers’ Compensation was the highest paid HR Administrator at both the time Ms. Everson was hired and at the time Ms. Everson was terminated.  In fact Ms. Clark’s rate of pay was $2.07 per hour more than Ms. McCrimmon and $1.22 per hour more than the rate offered to Ms. Everson.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely under oath on August 31, 2010 that Ms. Everson stated on her application that Ms. Everson had a Degree from Albany Technical College.  This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that nowhere in Ms. Everson’s application or resume` does it state Ms. Everson has any Degree from any educational institute.  In fact, Ms. Everson’s application and resume` both reflect Ms. Everson’s highest educational achievement is Vocational.  I have several audiotape recordings wherein I informed Jenise Shicole Smith, Niger Thomas, and Nathan Davis that a Vocational achievement is either a Certificate or Diploma and that by its very definition Vocational is below the Degree level.  Jenise Shicole Smith responded by asking, “How were we as the Employer supposed to know that?”  While Jenise Shicole Smith may argue she did not know Vocational was not a Degree at the time Jenise Shicole Smith recommended Ms. Everson’s termination, but there is no doubt Jenise Shicole Smith had full knowledge on August 31, 2010 that Vocational was not a Degree.

 

Niger Thomas stated in the presence of myself, Jenise Shicole Smith, and Nathan Davis that Ms. Thomas had contacted Albany Technical College and confirmed that Ms. Everson had attended Albany Technical College’s educational institute in 1976 and 1977, Ms. Everson had successfully completed a one-year Accounting Program, and Ms. Everson had been awarded a Diploma in recognition of Ms. Everson’s successful completion of the one-year Accounting Program (audio recording transcript available for your review upon request).

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely under oath on August 31, 2010 that Niger Thomas, EEO Manager contacted Albany Technical College and confirmed Ms. Everson went to Albany Technical School in 1977, but she received a Diploma for completing “a course” in Accounting.  This statement is false and untrue.  In addition, the statement is a misleading and self-serving attempt to distort the fact that Jenise Shicole Smith had full knowledge long before August 31, 2010 that in fact Ms. Everson had successfully completed a one-year Accounting Program and not just the one Accounting course Jenise Shicole Smith alleged at the time Jenise Shicole Smith recommended Ms. Everson’s termination.

 

March 10, 2010 I was directed by Alfred Lott, City Manager to terminate Ms. Everson for falsifying her application by stating she had an AS Degree she did not possess.  Alfred Lott, City Manager further informed me it had not been determined whether the falsification was intentional or not and directed me to give Ms. Everson a 30-day severance.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely under oath on August 31, 2010 when she stated, “And basically, the recommendation from the City Manager, it was more in – - it was that she (Ms. Everson) should be terminated simply for the false information that she provided on her application.”  Audio recordings of Wes Smith, Niger Thomas, and Alfred Lott all reveal it was Jenise Shicole Smith who recommended to Alfred Lott, City Manager that Ms. Everson be terminated for falsification of an application and Alfred Lott, City Manager upheld Jenise Shicole Smith’s recommendation.  Jenise Shicole Smith had full knowledge on August 31, 2010 that it was Jenise Shicole Smith and not Alfred Lott, City Manager who recommended Ms. Everson’s termination.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely under oath on August 31, 2010 that she had no knowledge of the Termination Letter I wrote to Ms. Everson on March 11, 2010 until weeks after Ms. Everson was terminated.  I have consistently maintained that I reported to City Manager Alfred Lott’s office on the morning of March 12, 2010 (the morning after I terminated Ms. Everson) and delivered a copy of the March 11, 2010 Termination Letter to Alfred Lott, City Manager in the presence of Jenise Shicole Smith.

 

July 22, 2010 the City Attorney’s office submitted the Respondent’s (Jenise Shicole Smith) Position Statement to Martha “Faye” Everson’s Official EEOC Charge of Discrimination It is telling that this document submitted to a Federal Agency, specifically the EEOC omits the original falsification of an application allegation that made the basis of Jenise Shicole Smith’s recommendation to terminate Ms. Everson, specifically that Ms. Everson stated on her application that Ms. Everson held an AS Degree she does not hold.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely multiple times under oath on August 31, 2010 that on March 12, 2010 Jenise Shicole Smith was not aware until weeks after Ms. Everson’s termination that I wrote a Termination Letter to Ms. Everson on March 11, 2010.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely under oath multiple times on August 31, 2010 that Jenise Shicole Smith did not know until weeks after March 11, 2010 if I gave Ms. Everson a Termination Letter on March 11, 2010.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely under oath on August 31, 2010 that (on March 12, 2010 when Jenise Shicole Smith authored the second Termination Letter) that Jenise Shicole Smith did not know what the actual Termination Letter said to Ms. Everson at the time Jenise Shicole Smith authored the second Termination Letter that Alfred Lott, City Manager signed on March 12, 2010.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely under oath on August 31, 2010 by stating, “Um and, basically, I think the EE, um O Manager, she discovered the letter in her mailbox.  Basically, she was going through papers in her mailbox and she was like, I found this letter.  It’s Faye — the Faye Everson Termination Letter.  And, so, as I said before, we discovered that letter — I saw that letter for the first time, I think, it was weeks after.  I can’t say how many weeks, but definitely, probably about two — at least two weeks after actual termination of Faye Everson.”

 

Jenise Shicole Smith testified under oath on August 31, 2010 that, “I think it was understood that, you know, when you terminate someone, you write a letter.”  Jenise Shicole Smith testified Jenise Shicole Smith did not know if I wrote a letter, but Jenise Shicole Smith “immediately assumed that…” and “But we took the — Legal (Jenise Shicole Smith) advised M — the City Manager to take the precaution to make sure that a letter was sent out to Ms. Everson that clearly stated the reason why she had been terminated.”  Jenise Shicole Smith testified that based on the questions Ms. Everson asked during her termination meeting, “it was clear that Ms. LaMont had not communicated and had not accurately communicated why Ms. Everson was terminated.”

 

Jenise Shicole Smith testified she assumed I wrote a letter.  Jenise Shicole Smith testified she immediately assumed.  Jenise Shicole Smith testified it was clear I had not accurately communicated why Ms. Everson was terminated.  The sixth and thirteenth questions Ms. Everson asked were specific to termination for falsification of an application, yet Jenise Shicole Smith refused to acknowledge this fact.  Instead she chose to “assume” I had not accurately communicated Jenise Shicole Smith’s termination reason to Ms. Everson.

 

Contrary to Jenise Shicole Smith’s perjured testimony on August 31, 2010, the Respondent’s (Jenise Shicole Smith) testimony as outlined in the Respondent’s (Jenise Shicole Smith) Position Statement submitted to the EEOC on July 22, 2010 was that the second Termination Letter was submitted to Ms. Everson to “correct the error” in the Termination Letter I provided to Ms. Everson on March 11, 2010.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith’s perjured testimony on August 31, 2010 regarding the Termination Letter I wrote on March 11, 2010 and the Termination Letter Jenise Shicole Smith authored on March 12, 2010 was a complete and totally false fabrication created and sworn to by Jenise Shicole Smith, a State Bar of Georgia licensed Attorney.

 

The last paragraph under the heading of Factual Background contained in the City of Albany Respondent’s (Jenise Shicole Smith) Position Statement submitted to the EEOC is interesting in light of the above testimony Jenise Shicole Smith swore to in my GA DOL Unemployment Appeal hearing as it reveals Jenise Shicole Smith had full knowledge on the morning of March 12, 2010 (less than 24 hours after Ms. Everson’s termination) of the Termination Letter I wrote to Ms. Everson on the afternoon of March 11, 2010.

 

In the City of Albany Respondent’s Position Statement submitted to the EEOC, Jenise Shicole Smith omits the fact that she is the person who authored the second Termination Letter that Alfred Lott, City Manager signed on March 12, 2010, which contains Jenise Shicole Smith’s initials (jss) as the author of the second Termination Letter (enclosed for your review).

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly, willingly, and falsely testified during my August 31, 2010 GA DOL Unemployment Appeal Hearing that the questions Ms. Everson asked had nothing to do with the reason Ms. Everson was terminated, the questions had something to do with things that were not related to the reason that she (Ms. Everson) was terminated.

 

Question 6.) Ms. Everson asked was, “What was she (Ms. Everson) being accused of falsifying on her application?”  Question 13.) Ms. Everson asked was “If the City believes she (Ms. Everson) falsified her application, why are we giving her (Ms. Everson) a severance package?”

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely in my August 31, 2010 GA DOL Unemployment Appeal Hearing when she stated she told me to just say the truth and I repeatedly asked her to just tell me what to say and I would say it.  Jenise Shicole Smith repeatedly told me I could not tell the truth.  I never asked Jenise Shicole Smith to tell me what to say.  I asked Jenise Shicole Smith what it was that she wanted me to say.  I never told Jenise Shicole Smith that I would agree to say what she wanted me to say.  I reminded Jenise Shicole Smith in a meeting that I recorded (available for your review upon request) that I informed her during a 3-hour meeting on April 14, 2010 that I would not create any stories.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith’s account of what was said during the 3-hour meeting that occurred on April 14, 2010 was completely different in the meeting I recorded than what Jenise Shicole Smith falsely testified to under oath on August 31, 2010.  A transcript of this meeting is available upon request as evidence of the multiple acts of perjury Jenise Shicole Smith committed during my GA DOL Unemployment Appeal Hearing regarding what was and was not said during the 3-hour meeting on April 14, 2010.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely under oath on August 31, 2010 that Alfred Lott, City Manager made the recommendation to terminate Ms. Everson.  The City Manager is the final decision maker concerning all matters involving all City of Albany employees and as such, Alfred Lott, City Manager received and upheld Jenise Shicole Smith’s recommendation to terminate Ms. Everson.  Jenise Shicole Smith neglected to inform either the GA DOL or the EEOC that it was Jenise Shicole Smith who made the recommendation to terminate Ms. Everson or that Jenise Shicole Smith, in her position as Assistant City Attorney, had no authority (under either the City Charter or the City of Albany Personnel Management System (PMS) to make any recommendation to retain or terminate any employee.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith advised Alfred Lott that Ms. McCrimmon had a prima fascia case against the City of Albany due to the fact that Ms. Everson and I are both white and on that basis recommended Ms. Everson’s termination as an acceptable resolution to Ms. McCrimmon’s complaint.  It is most telling that the Respondent (Jenise Shicole Smith) neglected to provide the EEOC with a copy of Ms. McCrimmon’s Grievance Statement.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely under oath on August 31, 2010 that my conduct was being investigated.  Jenise Shicole Smith withheld the fact that it was “alleged” conduct that was determined to be without merit through her own investigative efforts.  Jenise Shicole Smith had full knowledge on August 31, 2010 that the investigation she assisted in concluded there was no evidence of any Title VII violation committed by me.   Jenise Shicole Smith had full knowledge on August 31, 2010 that the investigation she assisted in concluded there was no evidence that I had participated in any wrongdoing, however Jenise Shicole Smith continued to make intentionally misleading allegations of substantiated racial discrimination.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely under oath on August 31, 2010 that she did not tell me my story regarding the Everson matter was not believable.  I recorded a meeting wherein Jenise Shicole Smith specifically stated, “It’s not believable.”  “It wasn’t believable.”  “It wasn’t credible.”  Jenise Shicole Smith repeatedly stated during the April 14, 2010 meeting that my story regarding the Everson matter was not believable and then denied while under oath on August 31, 2010 that she had ever stated my story was not believable.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely under oath that a complaint was filed against me for my conduct as an HR Director when I hired an individual.  Jenise Shicole Smith had full knowledge on August 31, 2010 that Ms. McCrimmon never filed a racial complaint (alleging racial discrimination or disparate pay based on race) against me.

 

During my Georgia Department of Labor (GA DOL) Unemployment Appeal Hearing held on August 31, 2010, Jenise Shicole Smith knowingly and willingly testified falsely under oath that City Attorney C. Nathan Davis (white male) was directly involved in the investigation of the Everson matter from its inception through Jenise Shicole Smith’s recommendation to terminate.

 

I recorded a conversation (audio recording transcript available for your review upon request) I had with C. Nathan Davis wherein I made a statement to Mr. Davis that after this Everson case, I’m pretty sure my career with the City of Albany was over.  Mr. Davis responded, “Well I know, gosh it just sounds like that case uh, uh ought to be settled from what just what we heard.”  I stated that to this day I had not seen the file on the person I was directed to terminate and I still had no idea what happened.  Mr. Davis responded, “Yeah I uh, I don’t know what’s going on.”

 

C. Nathan Davis, City Attorney was not involved in the investigation to terminate Ms. Everson or Jenise Shicole Smith’s recommendation to terminate Ms. Everson’s employment.  I recorded the first meeting Mr. Davis attended concerning the Everson matter was on June 7, 2010, which was a mediation preparation meeting to discuss the City of Albany’s preparation for participation in mediating Martha “Faye” Everson’s EEOC Charge of Discrimination against the City of Albany.  It was clear from this meeting that Mr. Davis had very limited hearsay knowledge and no direct knowledge concerning the Everson matter. (audio recording transcript available for your review upon request)

 

Jenise Shicole Smith’s perjured testimony submitted to the GA DOL (a State Agency) was cited in the fact finder’s decision to affirm denial of my eligibility for unemployment benefits.

 

Jenise Shicole Smith’s testimony in the Respondent’s Position Statement was submitted to the EEOC (a Federal Agency) in an attempt to cover up the racial discrimination and retaliation that Jenise Shicole Smith participated in during my employment with the City of Albany.

 

As a Georgia licensed Attorney, Jenise Shicole Smith knew or should have known that these unethical, unlawful, and unprofessional activities are not acceptable practices in the Legal profession, however it does not appear Jenise Shicole Smith has any regard for her ethical obligation as a State Bar of Georgia licensed Attorney, the law, or preservation of the integrity of the Legal profession.

 

I respectfully request that the State Bar of Georgia appropriately address Jenise Shicole Smith’s unethical, unlawful, and unprofessional conduct in her professional capacity as a licensed Attorney practicing law in the State of Georgia and as a member of the Georgia State Bar.

 

Respectfully,

 

 

Mary G. LaMont, SPHR

Former City of Albany HR Director

 

Enclosures (6)

 

8/11/2009 Martha “Faye” Everson’s Employment Application

3/1/2010 Beverly McCrimmon Grievance Statement

3/11/2010 Faye Everson Questions Regarding Her Termination

3/12/2010 Second Faye Everson Termination Letter Written by Jenise Shicole Smith

7/22/2010 City of Albany Respondent’s Position Statement to EEOC

8/31/2010 GA DOL Unemployment Appeal Hearing Transcript

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