On Friday, WDRB News reported that Bullitt County, Kentucky jailer Paul Watkins is accused in a new lawsuit of forcing a Black employee to attend a Republican Party fundraiser against his wishes.
"The lawsuit was filed Friday in Bullitt Circuit Court on behalf of Anthony Maddox, the former employee," reported Christie Battista. "According to court documents, Maddox started working as a deputy jailer at the facility in 2019. The lawsuit alleges that, eight months after Watkins took office, 35 employees stopped working for the jail 'due to the hostile and unprofessional work environment created by Jailer Watkins.'"
The lawsuit provides particularly gruesome details about Watkins's efforts to force Maddox to attend a fundraising dinner with him.
"Maddox claims Watkins forced him to go to a GOP fundraiser — the Lincoln Reagan Dinner 2022 at the Paroquet Spring Conference Center in Shepherdsville — on April 9. The dinner featured U.S. Sen. Rand Paul as the keynote speaker," said the report. "Two days before that dinner, Maddox said Watkins asked him to join him there. When Maddox replied that he was not comfortable attending the fundraiser, Watkins allegedly told him that 'other jail employees want your neck' but Watkins could protect his job."
According to the report, Maddox still said he was uncomfortable with the request, after which "Watkins allegedly asked if he'd like to be promoted to sergeant and given a raise. Maddox replied that he'd like that, and Watkins allegedly told him to meet him at Table No. 12 at the fundraiser and 'dress nice.'"
According to the report, when Maddox arrived at the dinner, Watkins "paraded" him and two other Black employees around, to create the impression he wasn't racist — but other attendees of the dinner privately warned him to get a lawyer, saying that a damning video of Watkins would be released soon.
On April 11, that video was released, revealing Watkins repeatedly using racial slurs and calling his granddaughter's husband a "f**king n****r." An attorney representing Watkins claimed these comments are not representative of his beliefs and he was "enduring a period of significant personal stress."
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