Aviation Authority discusses former director’s discrimination complaint

By Liz Segrist
Published June 16, 2014

The Charleston County Aviation Authority met today to receive a legal update on former airports director Sue Stevens’ gender discrimination complaint.

The board met in executive session for nearly two hours. Board Chairman Andy Savage said the meeting was held to keep board members abreast of the situation. No vote was taken after the closed-door meeting.

Paul CampbellSue Stevens

Airports Director Paul Campbell said the ball is in his predecessor Sue Stevens’ court, as mediation talks on her gender discrimination complaint begin next week.

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Mediation talks between the parties are scheduled for a week from today. If a settlement is not reached, the case could go to federal court.

When asked whether the board is prepared to settle, Airports Director Paul Campbell said it depends.

“We can certainly mediate in good faith and it depends on what that point is. We want something that allows us to run this airport in a cost-effective manner and an efficient manner,” Campbell said.

Savage said the parties have not discussed financials. He said Stevens’ attorney, Nancy Bloodgood, does not have to limit settlement offers to financial ones.

“It’s anything; it could be whatever their ask is,” Campbell said. “We’ll have to deal with that at the time. We don’t know what that will be.”

Stevens filed the complaint last fall after she resigned as airports director in July.

Stevens said at the time that she stepped down because of unethical behavior and condescension by some board members whenever she refused to “play ball.” She said those board members accused her of breaking rules and not complying with the board’s policies, according to her complaint, which the board has been evaluating.

Savage said the board wants to do what’s best for the authority, Charleston International Airport, Charleston Executive Airport on Johns Island and the Mount Pleasant Regional Airport, all of which the authority owns and operates. Charleston International Airport is currently in the midst of a $180 million terminal renovation project.

“We’re on the reacting side of this thing,” Campbell said. “The other side is the one that’s trying to push us in this direction, and we want to listen to what’s out there. We’ve got really great legal support and advice here.”

Reach staff writer Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.

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