Jury finds DeSoto sheriff's department worker victim of age bias

A federal jury has found that a 59-year-old DeSoto County Sheriff's Department employee was the victim of age discrimination when she was unfairly reassigned job duties.

Alice Cox had contended she was discriminated against when her job was abolished and the combined duties were given to a 21-year-old woman.

However, the jury ruled Thursday against Cox's complaint that her constitutional rights to free speech were violated when she was told to campaign for Sheriff James Albert Riley in the 2003 election campaign.

An assistant county attorney, Jody Neyman, said Cox would be entitled to damages for lost wages of less than $3,000.

Neyman says since the jury agreed that she was a victim of age discrimination, she will also be able to claim some attorneys fees.