Disgruntled Former Director of NCGA Fiscal Research Cries Racism in the Courtroom

RALEIGH – Back when Republicans took over on Jones Street there were quite a lot of messes to clean up. The state was in horrible fiscal shape, billions in debt, an uncompetitive tax code, and the accumulation of Big Government boondoggles associated with generations of Democratic leadership.

One casualty of the clean up effort was the director of the non-partisan Fiscal Research Division of the General Assembly, and now she is suing the state for discrimination, saying she was illegally forced to resign because she was a black woman.

“[Marilyn] Chism, a black woman who worked at the General Assembly for 13 years and became director in 2009, filed complaints and litigation against the General Assembly, accusing legislative leaders of illegally forcing her resignation because it was based on her race and gender.

[…]

The case has worked its way up and down the federal courts and at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which in 2013 determined she had been discriminated against because of race. Now an administrative law judge began hearing her complaint this week, and must decide whether bias occurred and if so, whether to order the legislative branch to pay monetary damages.”

At the center of Chism’s complaint is Thom Tillis, who was Speaker of the N.C. House at the time. Now Tillis brings with him a long list of reasons why conservatives shouldn’t have much sympathy for the proud RINO, but this assertions by Chism are beyond the pale.

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Tillis isn’t personally named in the suit, but was called upon to testify in the case last week forcing him to leave his comfy life in the Swamp to dispel the racism charges.

“Tillis said he wanted Chism out because she wasn’t doing a good enough job leading the agency tasked with helping lawmakers assemble the state budget when North Carolina government faced a more than $2 billion shortfall.

[…]

Chism contends she was forced out by white male leaders and staff within both the House and Senate, and while leaders of other General Assembly divisions — also all white and male — kept their positions. A white male also succeeded her as director.

Her complaint said a Tillis aide also was unhappy with how the fiscal agency calculated the cost to implement a proposed voter identification bill in 2011, saying it was too high. Black legislators, the NAACP and state Democrats strongly opposed the voter ID bill, saying it would make it more difficult for minority residents to vote.”

Yup, if a black woman gets a pink sliop and ends up being replaced by a white male, it MUST mean it is pure, unadulterated racism and sexism.

Or it could mean you’re not up to the job of providing an honest and rigorous fiscal eye during one of the most significant periods of state government reform in more than a century.

Or maybe your own “non-partisan” credentials were justifiably called into question after inflating fiscal impacts of voter identification legislation.

Nope – must be racism.

“On cross-examination, Chism attorney Stewart Fisher pressed Tillis why he didn’t meet with Chism to help improve her leadership skills and be more assertive, instead of simply seeking her resignation.”

So, Chism wanted her hand held, and when Republicans instead wanted someone that could handle the job without being prodded along, she cries racism and takes them to court.

The fact that one commission actually found in Chism’s favor is ridiculous, though not surprising considering the commission in question. Here’s to hoping sanity prevails as the case works its way through hearings.

Tillis may deserve a lot of things, most notably a solid primary challenger in 2020, but being labeled a racist over Ms. Chism’s ouster isn’t one of them.

 

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