Thursday, August 31, 2000

Official, husband face suit

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MIDDLETOWN — The husband of a city commissioner is accused of racial discrimination in a lawsuit filed by an African-American woman.

        The lawsuit, filed earlier this month in Butler County Common Pleas Court, names City Commissioner Laura Williams and her husband, Thomas Williams, as defendants and identifies them as owners and operators of the Blue Goose Restaurant.

        The lawsuit contends that Martha Miller, who was executive chef at the Blue Goose, was de moted and then fired by Mr. Williams after she confronted him about racist comments she heard he allegedly had made.

        The Williamses' attorney, Joseph Braun, said all allegations in the lawsuit are “absolutely false.”

        Mrs. Williams is not even involved in the restaurant, he said. Mr. Williams is one of the shareholders of the corporation, TRT Properties, that owns it, he said.

        Mr. Braun plans to file a response to the suit by the end of September. The lawsuit says that after asking Mr. Williams about allegations of racist comments, Ms. Miller was demoted June 1 to cook and fired June 4.


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