City spokeswoman Anne Torres said the City did not know of the complaint but intended to defend Reed’s decision to fire Cochran “whether, through the EEOC administrative process or in any other appropriate forum.”
The EEOC typically investigates a discrimination complaint to determine whether it plans to bring action on behalf of the plaintiff in federal court.
Reed has contended he didn’t fire Cochran because of his expressed religious viewpoints but for not obeying rules, including not getting clearance to write the book and failing to remain quiet while the city investigated him.
Cochran, a deacon at Elizabeth Baptist Church, said in his EEOC complaint that he did get permission from the city’s ethics office to publish the book but was later told he also needed the mayor’s permission and that he had also violated “unspecified policies.”
He said top city officials told him that their investigation showed “zero” instances where he had discriminated against anybody as chief but that because “my faith influenced my leadership style” he would have to lose his job.
The controversy made national news and religious group have come to Cochran’s defense, such as the Alliance for Defending Freedom, which advocates for the freedom to express faith.