Appeals court: Take Bruce lawsuit to federal jury

By NEMS Daily Journal

BRUCE – Roderick Gray is entitled to a jury trial against the city of Bruce, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals says.
In its ruling Thursday, the appeals court said Gray, who is black, can present his claim that he was discriminated against because of his race, when he lost his bid to be hired as Bruce’s public works director.
Gray’s attorney, Jim Waide of Tupelo, said his client had worked in the department since 1991 and was refused the job when its director retired in 2010.
The city board reportedly conducted a nationwide search, then hired a white candidate from outside the organization and claimed the man was better qualified, Waide said.
Gray sued, claiming the white candidate had no current certificate to operate a city sewerage system and was hired only because he was white.
The lawsuit was dismissed Sept. 12, 2012, in the U.S. District Court and then appealed to the 5th Circuit.