Covering Louisiana

Jul 21, 2014 3:33 PM by KATC

Lawsuit accuses ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert of racial discrimination

A current employee of the state Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control has joined two former ATC employees in suing ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert over claims of systematic racial discrimination.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court by Daimian McDowell, Charles Gilmore and Larry Hingle, details numerous actions that Hebert has taken against them since he took over the state office in 2010.

Hebert, however, maintains that the lawsuit is a frivelous one that his office "will vigorously defend."

According to the lawsuit, there were five black supervisors at the ATC when Hebert took over. Now, the lawsuit says, there are none.

The three men claim in the lawsuit that they were instructed to submit weekly reports to Hebert detailing their duties and how many miles they drove each day. They claim that white supervisors were not required to submit the weekly reports.

Hebert is also accused in the lawsuit of telling another employee at ATC that he was going to "break up the black trio."

The lawsuit outlines 15 pages of discrimination allegations against Hebert, including claims of retaliation against the three employees for filing a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

"It's an injustice to all races when someone uses the race card to make excuses for incompetence and laziness," said Hebert, a former state senator from Jeanerette. "As long as I'm commissioner, people who work here are going to work. If they don't like it, they can go somewhere else. I'm going to run ATC like a business."

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