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DNC honchos subpoenaed in anti-gay discrimination lawsuit

The heat is clearly on as the lawsuit filed against the Democratic National Committee by former LGBT outreach director Donald Hitchcock has resulted in high-ranking officials are being forced to testify under oath about how and why the organization fired Hitchcock, who was terminated not long after his partner, Paul Yandura, wrote an open letter criticizing the party’s overall handling of LGBT representation and tactics in fighting marriage amendments around the country.

Subpoenaed were Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council executive Director Brian Bond, Claire Lucas, and Leah Daughtry, with Howard Dean and openly gay DNC treasurer Andy Tobias also to be deposed under oath. (PageOneQ):

The lawsuit charges that Hitchcock was paid less than his counterparts in comparable positions, while never receiving staff support or a budget. According to FEC records, his bi-weekly pay was $2,156, while the other directors were paid $2,508. The suit also says that Hitchcock, before his firing, was held personally responsible by Ms. Tagen for, and threatened over, Mr. Yandura’s statements about the Democratic Party. Dean, Tobias and Tagen, Hitchcock charges, began spreading rumors within the Party in an attempt to discredit him.

“The DNC does not comment on pending litigation,” DNC General Counsel Joe Sandler said this morning.

Hitchcock’s suit called for monetary damages, leaving the amount to be determined by a jury, along with the retraction of public statements made by Dean and Tobias directly related to his firing over supposedly poor job performance.

I surely hope that the DNC has its paperwork in order regarding Donald Hitchcock’s annual evaluations, as well as those of his colleagues, because those if they don’t have documentation, or have clearly outlined goals and expectations for all job descriptions and their review periods, the DNC is going to down in flames on this one.

You’d be surprised at how many organizations, even ones the size of the DNC, have messy and incomplete personnel records that come back to bite them in the posterior when 1) an org wants to legitimately terminate someone for poor performance, or 2) they attempt wrongful or political axings. It certainly sounds like the DNC may be caught with its pants down because Hitchcock sounds confident:

I look forward shining light on the facts and discussing under oath the circumstances of my employment and unfair termination from the DNC,” Hitchcock told PageOneQ. “The community has already seen and felt the prioritizing of raising money from our community by the DNC, and now they will be exposed to the hard undeniable facts about the party’s disservice to the LGBT community via the discovery process.”

PageOneQ also has the Discovery Plan and a list of all  subpoenaed parties.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding