SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge and a jury on Thursday turned away age and disability discrimination claims by a former prosecutor who said she was treated differently and subsequently fired after her new boss joined the U.S. Attorney's Office in Sioux City.
The jury reached its verdict after nearly five hours of deliberations over the case of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Martha Fagg, the Sioux City Journal reported.
The eight-member jury determined that Fagg was not the victim of discrimination because of her mental and physical conditions.
Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf earlier Thursday dismissed a complaint by Fagg that former U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose and her top assistant, Teresa Baumann, discriminated against her after she raised the possibility of age discrimination in their office. Rose is now a federal judge.
“Essentially, the defendant has established and proven that the reason for any and all employment actions was Fagg's refusal to follow the lawful direction and supervision of Rose and Baumann,” Kopf wrote.
Kopf also wrote that Rose and Baumann were occasionally “overly zealous and harsh” in disciplining Fagg, but he said Fagg was disrespectful of Rose and Baumann.
Kopf described the dispute as disagreements between competent lawyers who would not back down. He called Rose and Fagg “hardheads.”
Fagg claimed Rose and Baumann retaliated against her after she wrote a memo to Rose in 2010 that warned her about age discrimination in the office because of new hires and other personnel changes. Fagg said her work was intensely scrutinized after that. She was transferred from Sioux City to Cedar Rapids, and later fired.
Rose, who became the nation's youngest federal judge at age 40 when she was named to the bench last year, testified during the trial that Fagg committed dozens of infractions, lied to her and was belligerent at times.
Fagg's attorney, Michael Carroll, said during trial that his client was a “loyal, dedicated, hardworking attorney who had the courage to stand up to power.”
Fagg was not present for the jury's verdict.
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