Corruption lawsuit filed against City of East Point by former employee

A federal lawsuit has been filed against the City of East Point and its officials, including a city councilwoman and a municipal judge, alleging sex-based discrimination, retaliation, and violations of civil rights laws. The lawsuit was initiated by Kimberly Propst, a former East Point Court Administrator, who claims she was unjustly terminated after refusing to comply with a request from Councilwoman Sharon Shropshire to reverse fines levied against a relative.

According to the lawsuit, after Propst denied Councilwoman Shropshire's request, the councilwoman influenced the municipal court Judge Rashida Oliver to take direct supervision of Propst and ultimately terminate her employment. Additionally, it alleges that Judge Oliver received a $40,000 pay raise in the process.

The Department of Justice granted authorization to proceed with the lawsuit on April 17 following Propst's earlier filings of discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in February 2024. The legal action claims retaliation against Propst for her refusal to engage in corrupt practices and for opposing sexist remarks made by Shropshire. It also contends that the city failed to provide Propst with information about her appeal rights and did not allow her to challenge her dismissal.

Propst, who reportedly had no prior disciplinary issues and consistently received positive performance evaluations, was reportedly terminated under the pretext of unsatisfactory job performance—a claim that was investigated and found unsubstantiated by the Georgia Department of Labor.

The city council's decision to have Propst report directly to Judge Oliver, which was followed by her termination the next day, has also come under scrutiny. Propst's replacement was quickly appointed as Malcom Mitchell, a previous associate of Judge Oliver.

Supporting the lawsuit are sworn statements from several court staff members and attorneys, asserting that Judge Oliver admitted the city council forced her hand in terminating Propst. The lawsuit highlights the violation of East Point Ordinance No. 016-13, which prohibits city councilors from retaliating against city employees who engage in legally protected activities or from coercing officials to favor relatives.

Civil Rights Attorney Arnold Lizana, representing Propst, emphasized that public officials are not permitted to misuse their authority to harm employees who report misconduct, stating that such actions warrant accountability.

FOX 5 Atlanta has reached out to the city for comment.