A hearing in federal court is set for next Friday dealing with litigation filed last year by the Bedford County Sheriff's Department's former child abuse investigator.
Rebecca Hord has filed a motion to compel against the county and Sheriff Randall Boyce to get them to fulfill discovery requests, hand over documents and answer questions about the suit. A hearing in the matter has been set for Aug. 10 in the chambers of Magistrate Judge William B Carter.
Hord filed suit last December under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Tennessee Human Rights Act (THRA) for allegedly failing to pay overtime, racial and gender discrimination, as well as retaliatory discharge.
She claims she was fired for supporting four other detectives who had sued for unpaid overtime, also charging that Boyce "allowed and fostered a culture of racism" within the sheriff's department.
In documents filed in federal court, Hord says she filed her first set of questions and request for documents on Feb. 27, with the county given 30 days to produce them, but they did not do so.
She also claims that the county's Rule 26 Disclosures, which governs discovery in a lawsuit, "should have been submitted to counsel for (Hord) within a reasonable amount of time, and were not."
Letters were sent to the county on April 4 and May 1, asking for documents and an answer to questions posed by Hord, but as of July 27, none of the material had been produced, documents claim.
Hord's attorney, Terry A. Fann, stated that initial discovery depositions had been scheduled for July 26 and 27, but those have been postponed due to none of the requests for answers and documents being responded to.
Fann asked for Judge Carter to file an order compelling Boyce and the county to respond to the questions, and is also asking for "an award of attorney's fees incurred by her due to the failure" of the county to respond to questions.
Judge Carter is to conduct all proceedings in Hord's civil suit, whether it is heard by a jury or not, and will order the entry of a final judgement. His ruling can then be directly appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals like any other judgement of the District Court.
In January, the county and sheriff denied that Hord "is entitled to any relief whatsoever including any claims for alleged retaliation."
Documents filed by the county in federal court claim that Hord's suit "contains numerous factual inaccuracies" and that she was fired for driving her assigned vehicle "for non work related personal reasons to Kentucky and Nashville as well as a number of other violations of departmental policy that she was warned about violating."
Boyce and the county also deny that Hord was a party to a legal contract of employment, and that she was "an employee at will subject to termination by the Sheriff at any time whatsoever with or without cause."