Cochran v. KendrickAnnotate this Case
Appellee Steven Kendrick was the tax commissioner for Richmond County. He took office in 2009 after he was elected in 2008. In 2010, appellee began to reorganizing his office and as part of the process, eliminated ten positions, created three and reclassified eight others. Two of the ten positions eliminated included appellant Nancy Cochran's position as Director of Motor Vehicles and Takiyah Douse's position as Deputy Director of Motor Vehicles. Appellee created a new position of Division Manager of Motor Vehicles which required the person hired to have a bachelor's degree. Appellant, who did not have a college degree, applied and was interviewed for this new position along with Douse. Appellee decided to hire Douse, who had a bachelor's and a master's degree. Appellant did not apply for any other available positions in the department and was terminated. At the time of her termination, appellant had been employed by the county for 26 years. Appellant (who was Caucasian) believed appellee (who is African-American) wrongfully terminated her because of her race when he decided to hire Douse, who was African-American. She also alleged appellant failed to follow the policies and procedures in place regarding layoffs and reorganization. Appellant brought a mandamus action to compel appellee1 to follow these policies and procedures and raised claims under 42 USC 2000e, et seq., 42 USC 1981, and 42 USC 1983. Appellee moved for summary judgment and the trial court granted that motion, effectively denying mandamus relief for appellant. Appellant appealed. Finding no reversible error in the trial court's judgment, the Supreme Court affirmed.