Court sides with sheriff in uniform case

Lee County StockBy Patsy R. Brumfield

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Crystal Finnie, once a longtime Lee County Sheriff’s Office employee, lost her legal bid to oppose dress code requirements to wear trousers.

Thursday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Sheriff Jim Johnson in Finnie’s lawsuit claiming her religious beliefs were infringed upon by requiring her to wear pants instead of a skirt.

The case was appealed from the Northern District of Mississippi, where Judge Sharion Aycock dismissed the lawsuit in July 2012.

In her lawsuit, Finnie said she worked for years at the sheriff’s department and followed its uniform policy. But when she became Pentecostal in 2008, she decided she could no longer wear trousers.

She was given repeated warnings from Johnson and was fired for not following the dress code.

She sued in March 2010 claiming religious and gender discrimination.

After she lost the lawsuit in Northern Mississippi, she appealed to the 5th Circuit.

patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com