MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A former Wisconsin National Guard spokesman filed another complaint Monday alleging the state Department of Veterans Affairs should have hired him for a communications job rather than the state restaurant association's marketing director.
Tim Donovan, a white, 59-year-old retired lieutenant colonel who served in Iraq, alleges in documents filed with the state Equal Rights Division that the DVA discriminated against him because of his age and race. The complaint accuses DVA Secretary Ken Black of phasing old white men out of the agency.
The complaint also alleges the agency violated a state law that requires the secretary to hire veterans, if possible. Donovan's attorney, Michael Fox, said the DVA's decision goes against Gov. Jim Doyle's proclamation naming this week "Hire a Veteran Week."
"We get all of this, the bands and the parades, but when the rubber hits the road are you going to hire a veteran or not?" Fox said in a telephone interview.
Sara Stinski, who was hired instead of Donovan in April as DVA's spokeswoman, declined to comment. She also declined a request from The Associated Press to speak to Black about the lawsuit.
Donovan's complaint claims he was the only veteran among seven finalists for the job and scored 100 on a civil service exam for the position. Stinski, meanwhile, was a 36-year-old woman with no military experience and scored 82 on the test, the complaint says.
The documents go on to say that just weeks before Donovan was rejected, Black told DVA department heads during a meeting that one of the agency's problems was that it was employing too many older white males. It alleges the communications post became open after Black demoted Andy Schuster, a 60-year-old white man.
Donovan raised similar allegations in a complaint to the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission in April. He accused the DVA then of abusing its discretion and violating the veteran hiring law. A hearing in that case is set for Dec. 14.
Both complaints demand the agency give Donovan the job and cover his legal fees.
The department said in court papers filed this summer that Stinski was qualified. She has nearly 15 years of marketing and public relations experience and has written about discounts and special offers for veterans as the Wisconsin Restaurant Association's marketing and public relations director.
Donovan's complaints are another legal headache for Black, who took over the troubled agency after its board fired Secretary John Scocos in 2009 only weeks after Scocos returned from serving in Iraq. Scocos has filed a lawsuit arguing the firing violated a federal law that protects soldiers' jobs.
Furthermore, an administrator who Black fired has filed a discrimination complaint claiming Black's agenda calls for getting rid of "old white guys."
Black, who is African-American, has denied those allegations, saying he's making needed changes.Tags: