State agency takes magistrate's discrimination complaint

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
An age discrimination employment complaint by a Rowan County magistrate has been referred to the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings.
Fred Moore, 59, who has served as a magistrate for 25 years in Rowan and Iredell counties, initially filed the complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Moore was among nine magistrates who applied for reappointment for four-year terms in December. Moore was the only magistrate not reappointed. Resident Superior Court Judge John Holshouser Jr. gave Moore an extension until April 30, when he will be 60.
Moore said Thursday he lost his job because he was not a “yes man” or a “rubber stamp” for the judicial system.
He went on to note that he has handled more than 10,000 small-claims cases during his tenure as a magistrate.
Moore said he was accused of being anti-law enforcement during the reappointment process, an accusation with which he vehemently disagrees.
“I rode with a Salisbury officer Saturday night, and I have done so in the past,” Moore said. In years past, Moore recalls he “rode shotgun on my days off with deputies.”
He declined to say who accused him of being anti-law enforcement.
Moore said he has been hurt by the accusation and has received support from many local officers.
Initially, Moore announced in December that he was retiring.
Because Moore is a state employee, his complaint is against the state of North Carolina, which moves it to the Office of Administrative Hearings.
That division is responsible for charges by previous or current state employees alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age or disability. According to Moore and a spokesman for the Industrial Commission, the state agency will investigate the case.
Possible outcomes include the complaint being dismissed or mediated or, if Moore prevails, the division would issue a right to sue letter that allows him to file a civil lawsuit.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254.