BEDFORD - A former Bedford County Prison officer has filed her second lawsuit against the county in just over a year, accusing the jail's former warden of punishing and firing her on the basis of her sex.
Daphne Jill Foor, who worked as a guard and lieutenant for more than 10 years, accused former warden Donald Orr Jr. in a federal lawsuit of punishing women more harshly than men for similar infractions until her firing in 2011. As Orr's employers, county authorities were "well aware" of Orr's hostile attitude, the suit, filed Thursday, claims.
Meanwhile, Orr has failed to appear for court-ordered depositions in a related case, legal documents indicate.
Foor's first lawsuit, filed October 2012, cited Orr's alleged sexism in Foor's inability to secure deserved promotions. This month's suit cites related anecdotes to show Orr later fired her illegally, as well.
The Bedford County commissioners weren't available for comment Thursday afternoon.
In a prior case involving Orr, commissioners had indicated the lawsuits - filed by three female ex-guards - were expected.
"[Bedford County] was well aware of the hostile attitude of Warden Orr to the female corrections officers at the prison," the lawsuit reads.
"They're going to deny everything," Pittsburgh attorney Lawrence R. Chaban, who is representing Foor, said of county officials.
The former guard seeks unspecified compensation for lost wages and a return to her old job, according to court documents.
In the lawsuit, Foor describes the 2011 incident that reportedly led to her dismissal: She was charged with a "major security breach" after a visitor was improperly allowed to contact an inmate, while male guards were involved
but never disciplined, she said.
A week after the incident, she was dismissed.
Chaban said county officials were set to be subpoenaed Thursday; two similar cases from female ex-
guards are forthcoming, he said.
Last year, former lieutenants Gloria Sadler and Tina Hillegas accused the county of allowing Orr
to force them from their jobs.
Taken together, the lawsuits describe a constantly hostile work environment, with Orr allegedly ignoring and insulting female employees while passing them up for promotions.
Orr resigned in July 2012 as county authorities investigated another "security breach" at the jail.
He was later accused, with his wife, of stealing money from his elderly parents' bank account. The pair were later accepted into a non-conviction rehabilitation program.
On Nov. 1, a federal judge issued an order compelling Orr to appear for a deposition on Foor's allegations. Despite receiving and answering an earlier subpoena, Orr failed to take heed, Chaban said Thursday.
The Nov. 1 order threatened legal sanctions if he fails to appear again. Chaban said he is awaiting Orr's reply; if he ignores further mailed subpoenas, the attorney may have him served personally, he said.
Orr could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Mirror Staff Writer Ryan Brown is at 946-7457.