CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Kanawha County jury has found that three board members with the Bob Burdette Center, a Charleston community center based on the West Side, discriminated against a woman because she was gay.
After hours of deliberation, a six-person jury found that Norm Cannada, Sam Sommerville and Rev. Ron Stoner discriminated against Jessica Hudson, 34, of Charleston, because of her sexual orientation. No monetary damages were awarded in the case.
Sommerville was president of the board. Stoner and Cannada were both board members.
The jury dismissed the discrimination claims against two other Bob Burdette Center board members, Jean Cunningham and Mark Miller, and claims against the Bob Burdette Center, which was also named in the suit.
The three men and three women on the jury deliberated for more than 16 hours throughout Thursday and Friday before returning a verdict at about 7 p.m.
Hudson claimed the board members fired her days after offering her the job as executive director of the Bob Burdette Center because she is a lesbian. She sought financial damages in the case.
Hudson alleged the board members fired her days after staff members at the center discovered she is a lesbian after viewing her Facebook profile.
The board members' attorney, Dave Mincer, said Hudson was fired because she misrepresented herself in her resume and during the interview.
The board members claim Hudson had deceived them into believing she had a college degree when she does not. Her resume states that she completed "all courses with a concentration on education."
However, Hudson maintains that she never told the board members she obtained a degree, and that they never asked.