GOP Chairman John Watson

Georgia GOP settles discrimination lawsuit with former staffer

A former Georgia Republican Party staffer who filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the GOP has settled with her former employer.

Details of the settlement were not released, but state GOP Chairman John Watson confirmed the three-year legal fight was over.

“This matter has been resolved,” Watson said. “The Georgia Republican Party will continue to be singularly focused on our core mission: supporting President Trump and electing Republicans now and in 2018.”

Lawyers for Qiana Keith did not immediately comment on the settlement.

Keith of Hall County said in the lawsuit that she overheard co-workers refer to her by using a racial slur, showed her disrespect and humiliated her.

The suit claimed that Keith was fired after complaining to her superiors about her co-workers’ behavior and sought damages and lost wages under the federal Civil Rights Act.

The party’s attorney, Anne Lewis, said in 2014 that Keith was fired for “consistently poor job performance.”

Keith, who worked as an executive assistant to then-party Chairman John Padgett, said co-workers gossiped about her over a 2002 felony conviction in Montana, which she said the party was aware of when it hired her in 2013.

In March, a federal judge allowed a key part of the racial discrimination lawsuit to move forward, ruling that the former employee’s claims that she was improperly fired could go to trial.

The 2014 lawsuit contributed to the state GOP’s troubles attracting donors amid mounting legal bills. Watson took over a party in June that was deep in debt despite the fact that Republicans dominate state politics and Georgia GOP politicians have no problem raising big money for their own campaigns.

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