Lawmaker’s Wife, Nev. Colleges Settle Discrimination Suit

Lawmaker’s Wife, Nev. Colleges Settle Discrimination Suit

LAS VEGAS

The Nevada state university system has settled a discrimination lawsuit filed by the wife of Assemblyman Wendell Williams.

Zelda Williams will receive $49,900 from the University and Community College System of Nevada after a community college employee used a racial slur about her in 2001, her lawyer Richard Segerblom said.

“I just think that the university (system) was fortunate to settle the case,” Segerblom says. “He made some really horrendous comments.”

Wendell Williams, D-Las Vegas, said he had not spoken with his wife and was unaware of the settlement.

The lawsuit stemmed from an Aug. 17 incident during which Zelda Williams, then a student, was visiting John Cummings, Community College of Southern Nevada government liaison and adviser to the college president. Cummings also is a friend of Wendell Williams.

Mike Meyer, then associate vice president for athletics and development, allegedly uttered the racial epithet while Zelda Williams was in Cummings’ office.

Meyer issued a public apology, resigned from his position and is no longer affiliated with the college.

Zelda Williams filed a $1.5 million discrimination lawsuit that also sought compensation for emotional damages. A federal court dismissed the discrimination suit. The settlement is payment for emotional damages.

Lawyers with the University and Community College System of Nevada declined comment on the details of the case. Cummings said he was glad the lawsuit was settled.

“It has made CCSN better aware that we need to place a greater emphasis on diversity training,” he says.



© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com