The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the ACLU of Pennsylvania agreed last week to support a state probe of the Nizah Morris case.
On Nov. 14, the board voted unanimously to support the probe, after a presentation by former state Rep. Babette Josephs.
Morris, 47, was a transgender woman who became a homicide victim shortly after entering a police vehicle Dec. 22, 2002. The case remains unsolved.
In April, the city’s Police Advisory Commission recommended state and federal probes, citing an “appalling” local investigation.
“A major part of [the local ACLU’s] mission is to strive for LGBT equality,” Josephs told PGN. “The fact that law enforcement in Philadelphia doesn’t thoroughly investigate homicides of transgender persons is of grave concern to [ACLU] members. We urge state Attorney General Kathleen Kane to look into this matter promptly.”
In a related matter, the city Law Department has requested an additional 30 days before deciding whether to release copies of nondisclosure agreements by the PAC and the D.A.’s Office.
PGN requested the records Nov. 7, after being informed that a nondisclosure agreement between the PAC and the D.A.’s Office prevents the paper from accessing numerous Morris records in the PAC’s possession.
Appellate court rules against trans litigant
An appellate court on Wednesday ruled against transwoman Janis Stacy, who alleged wrongful termination from her engineering position at LSI Corp. due to gender, gender identity and disability bias.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ 11-page ruling affirms a lower court’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit. The appellate judges who issued the ruling are D. Michael Fisher, Kent A. Jordan and Dolores K. Sloviter.
They said Stacy presented insufficient evidence to support her claims.
“We are disappointed with the decision,” said Stacy’s attorney, Scott B. Goldshaw. “We believe the decision overlooks certain legal precedent and important facts, and we will be submitting a petition for rehearing shortly.”
Stacy worked at the Allentown electronics firm for about 10 years prior to her 2008 termination. LSI maintained Stacy was terminated due to an “adverse economy,” and because she lacked the requisite skills to help move the company forward.
— Timothy Cwiek