DARIEN, GA. | The girlfriend of a former Darien police officer who filed a federal lawsuit asserting the city mistreated him over their interracial relationship has filed her own lawsuit against their former superiors.
The lawsuit Stacy Miller filed Wednesday has many of the same allegations as the one Korone Robinson filed in August. They both say Chief Donnie Howard, Archie Davis, the interim Darien city manager at the time, and their former supervisor, Ryan Alexander, discriminated against them.
Miller, who is white, said she and Robinson, an African-American, began a romantic relationship in October 2015 and told their superiors in December. The lawsuit says the employee handbook had no prohibitions against workplace romance but that Howard took some adverse job action against her because of the relationship.
She and Robinson were both narcotics investigators and sometimes rode together in their unmarked patrol cars to meet with informants, to make arrests and execute other warrants. The lawsuit says that for safety it was policy for officers to not carry out such operations alone.
Howard transferred Miller to the night shift so that she and Robinson would have conflicting hours, even though it meant she would have difficulty contacting victims, witnesses, court personnel, crime labs and others who were typically available during daylight hours, according to the lawsuit.
In order to do her job as an investigator, Miller said she worked some days and cut short her night shift. Howard then changed her hours to days but transferred her to patrol.
The lawsuit also says Miller was paid less than her male counterparts, including some with less experience and that she was not issued a long gun even though she served on a Special Response Team in which every other office had one.
Howard also refused to allow her to participate in training dogs and justified it by saying she was a woman and too small, although men of the same stature were allowed to work with dogs, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit quotes Howard as saying, “We take care of our women.”
After Miller filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint, Davis, while he was acting city manager, told her it could have a negative effect on her career, the lawsuit says. It also says Davis said she could be charged criminally for statements she made in the complaint because he could find fellow officers to contradict her assertions.
She withdrew that complaint but filed a second in which she asserts she was the object of discrimination because of race and interracial association and was subjected to unlawful retaliation. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint said she wants $5 million in damages.
Robinson’s lawsuit is similar but also states other elements of racial discrimination.
It says Robinson found an anarchist flag and another with a Nazi swastika in his patrol car and turned them over to Alexander, who displayed the swastika prominently in the work area. Robinson said he had to work “under the auspices of the Nazi swastika flag on a daily basis” and Howard allowed it.
Miller is now a captain with the McIntosh County school police, and Robinson is a drug investigator with the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office.
Davis is no longer city manager and Alexander works on reserve status with the department.
Howard and City Attorney Richard Braun could not be reached for comment Thursday morning. Messages were left at their offices seeking comment.
Terry Dickson: (912) 264-0405