Former Magistrate Judge Files $500,000 Lawsuit

A former magistrate judge has filed a $500,000 lawsuit against Hamilton County and key members of Juvenile Court, claiming two high-ranking coworkers discriminated against her because she is gay.

The lawsuit alleges that, on a number of occasions, Judge Rob Philyaw and administrator Sam Mairs created a hostile work environment for Elizabeth Gentzler by making homophobic jokes, avoiding her ideas and suggestions, and transferring her to a different assignment without explanation, all of which ended in her September 2014 termination.

Reached Monday, Mairs said he was not authorized to comment. Philyaw could not be reached for comment. County officials offered no statement but denied the allegations.

No trial date has been set, said Stuart James, one of Gentzler’s attorneys. The defense is waiting on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to wrap up its investigation and release a report, James said. The lawsuit, originally filed in Hamilton County to preserve its state claims, since has been moved to federal court, he added.

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