Ingram’s complaint said his 27-year career with the labor department was well regarded, and he helped to bring in more than $140 million in federal money for Tennessee unemployment insurance. He also said other white employees were let go in favor of black replacements.
The case of a former Tennessee Department of Labor official who says he was the victim of reverse discrimination will move forward. However, he will not be able to seek money damages from the state, a federal judge has ruled.
Donald B. Ingram, formerly the head of the labor department’s Division of Employment Security, is suing the state and the African American former labor commissioner, Karla Davis, alleging that she conspired with others to have Ingram, who is white, removed in favor of a less-qualified African American woman. That woman, Alisa Malone, has since resigned along with Davis and another man Ingram says was involved in the effort.
The state asked U.S. District Judge John T. Nixon to dismiss the case because neither the state nor Davis are legally obligated to pay the more than $500,000 in damages Ingram is seeking, and because Davis enjoys two types of legal immunity.
While Nixon agreed in a May 10 opinion that Ingram can’t collect from the state or Davis as a state official, he repeatedly made clear that Ingram presented enough facts to move against Davis individually.