Friday, November 4, 2016

Grants Director who settled DPS sex discrimination suit is gone

Penny Corn is no longer the Grants Director at the Office of Homeland Security at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.    DPS settled a sex discrimination with Ms. Corn in April.  Payroll records obtained through a public records request state that Ms. Corn's last date of employment was October 17.  Multiple sources have told JJ that Ms. Corn was fired from her position.  A DPS representative declined to comment and said he would not discuss personnel matters. 

The settlement agreement states that DPS will pay Ms. Corn $75,000 for damages and $9,474 for lost wages. The lawsuit is the third discrimination lawsuit settled by DPS or MBN in the last year.  DPS settled one a year ago with Gayle McMullin and MBN settled one with Katherine Sullivan for $25,000.   The settlements generated much negative publicity for DPS.  The Governor was embarrassed by the lawsuits and blindsided because no one from DPS had informed him or his staff about the lawsuits or the settlements.

Kingfish note: It will probably be next to impossible to obtain any comments or evidence on the records that state why Ms. Corn was terminated. 

Earlier posts
Copy of settlement agreement 
And another good ole boy leaves after a discrimination suit is settled.  
Story on Corn lawsuit and copy of complaint.  

See page 2 for last salary date.  


Anonymous said...

kind of hard to keep a job you are never at... at least that's what I have heard

Anonymous said...

3:59, details. details......

Anonymous said...

Corn was at her post in Homelsnd Security. Very rarely was she out of the Homeland Security. Office . I Imagin more will surface as to why Corn is no longer employed by DPS. I guess when one stands up to the DPS good ole boys does not stayed employed.

Anonymous said...

Don't they have to show cause for termination from that job?

Anonymous said...

Governor cannot say he was blindsided or embarrassed anymore. It would seem after 3 lawsuits and settlements he would have noticed. Looks like he is not really embarrassed anymore but has decided he will accept it. He has a habit of accepting anything that happens at DPS.

Anonymous said...

With the years of service she would qualify for retirement. However with her years of experience it is troubling to see that DHS offered her the lowest possible starting salary. But that's typical for law enforcement agencies treatment of women.

Anonymous said...

I would imagine there will be another law suit filed by Ms. Corn real soon for retaliation since sources close to the case have said that is exactly what has happened. She stood up to the crooked establishment and now they took revenge. She will have the last so in this case for sure. I strongly feel a Federal Law-Suit coming.

Renee said...

Penny Corn is the most detail-oriented record keeping beast I've ever met. This was an extraordinarily stupid move by DPS. Her family will be set for life after she finishes with them

Anonymous said...

I hope Ms. Corn does pursue what smells of wrongful termination and is successful.
Worse, there will likely be more taxpayer dollars wasted defending the indefensible official actions in this State by those in authority.
Ignorance and stupidity costs us lots of money.

Kingfish said...

And if she doesn't sue, that should tell you something as well.

Anonymous said...

@6:17 - There is no 'show cause' termination law in Mississippi. Jobs that fall under the State Personnel Board and possibly other oversight bodies have 'due process' requirements. It's yet to be revealed if that occurred or even if her job was one that's exempt from SPB oversight.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if this next lawsuit and eventual settlement will blindside and embarrass the governor yet again?

Anonymous said...

A job at Corn's level was most probably will and pleasure status, however that would not preclude her from pursuing a retaliation case; especially if she can qualify as a whistleblower. From what I understand, she had uncovered a pattern and practice of grant fraud, and if she can prove it, she stands to get a decent reward from the federal government. However, I'm sure DPS has already gone about destroying any records and evidence that might support Corn's findings, and will blame any lack of documentation on Corn; but as 10:24 indicated she is known for keeping impeccable records and notes so I'm sure whatever DPS doesn't have, she does. Sound familiar?? What a great bunch of folks those troopers are!

Questions Earlier Post said...

8:43....What evidence do you have that she was 'started at the lowest possible starting salary'?

Anonymous said...

The record posted above does reflect Non-Status, NS, which means not covered by SPB regulations. Time limited 12 month, grant-funded position. Which still does not preclude a retaliation suit, if she thinks that is appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Corn has a reputation for doing the right thing even if it means that harm could come to her do it. You heard it here she is not done with DPS. What is sad is that the state of Mississippi has once again list a very good employee because of the ignorant actions of those in control
at DPS. It is time our Govenor step in and do the right thing and hold the individuals at DPS accountable. But from his past performance it is very doubtful that will occur.

Anonymous said...

12:30- read the Salary documents that state the position salary range and her starting salary.

Anonymous said...

4:53; When a state employee is promoted, they move to the beginning step of the higher grade job unless they are already paid above that step. The hiring authority doesn't have the flexibility of sliding the employee into any step he/she chooses. If already paid above the start step of the new position, typically the employee is moved up to at least the next highest step of the new grade.

It appears she has been a state employee since 1988. You can't really tell fully from the document when or if she's had raises, promotions or job changes. You can speculate all day long, but there is absolutely no evidence that she was paid less because she is female.

Anonymous said...

8:43 It's not about the treatment of women, it's about the treatment of civilians within DPS. I challenge you to find a single civilian employee that's paid a dime above the lowest defined pay for their level. The personnel board touts wide ranges of salaries for, say, a branch director I, but see if you can find someone who isn't sworn that's ever made any more than the minimum.

DPS radio operators make $21k a year and it has been at least fifteen years or more since they increased the base pay. At one time there were employees paid as trainees with 5-10 years of experience. One had gone 13 years without making a penny more, all while every sworn officer around him enjoyed their realignments and step raises when they were due. Tell me again why they can't find good help...

Anonymous said...

Am I reading this right that this woman had a tax-payer paid car and gasoline, maintenance, insurance, repairs? And sued because they didn't promote her? If I could have a paid car I would fall to my knees and thank god, not sue my employer! Was she really making $110,000 per year? Wow some people don't know when they have it good.

Anonymous said...

I don't think agencies should hand out $70K of our money without a jury trial and cross examination of the plaintiff.

Anonymous said...

At 8:09 pm- you are not reading correct. This woman was no longer allowed to be issued a state vehicle once she filed her sexual
discrimination lawsuit against DPS even though all the males in the office who were in
management positions were allowed to
because they are "sworn officers" even though the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security is a grants administration office. It would appear that once again Corn was discriminated because of her gender and retaliation for
filing a law suit against DPS.

Anonymous said...

Not sure about other agencies, but DPS employees are not allowed to use agency vehicles for personal use at all. Some employees use vehicles to drive to and from home but only if their position requires them to travel for work related activities after hours. Still, they are not allowed to even stop at the grocery store on the way home in a state owned vehicle.

Anonymous said...

10:26, guess we were seeing things when the DOT truck was caught on video loading up and icing down beer.

Anonymous said...

8:09---there's a big difference between sworn officers being issued a state vehicle to respond to incidents or investigate, prepared to take a bullet to defend our freedoms and safety, and desk paper-pushers without a badge or gun, wanting the same. I support our sworn officers!

Anonymous said...

Per her Facebook page, she has a new job working for Salvation Army.

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