Officials Suspended In Wake Of Lawsuit

NASCAR CEO Brian France confirmed Saturday that two Nationwide Series officials have been suspended indefinitely in the wake of an internal investigation into allegations made in a lawsuit filed by former Nationwide Series technical inspector Mauricia Grant.

Grant filed a lawsuit that seeks $225 million in damages on Tuesday for racial and sexual discrimination and wrongful termination.

"We haven't concluded our investigation, it's still ongoing," France said. "Obviously, we found some violations that are possible. I would not jump to conclusions to assume that all the allegations that were made over the many months that the claimant has made against us are accurate."

The Associated Press reported Saturday that Tim Knox and Bud Moore were the Nationwide officials suspended. They allegedly exposed themselves to Grant. Knox and Moore are continuing to be paid. NASCAR did not identify them or the reason for their suspensions.

Grant, an African-American woman, alleges 23 incidents of sexual harassment and 34 of racial and gender discrimination.

France staunchly defended NASCAR's procedures and policies to enforce a fair and equal opportunity workplace and criticized Grant for not bringing her charges forward while she worked for the organization.

"We learned about this after you did," France said in addressing the media. "If any of those claims turn out to be accurate or have substance, we'd have liked to have known about them two years ago, so we could react to them. It's inconsistent with anything from a policy standpoint about how our work environment or our officials should be. It's not consistent with anything in our values.

"To have never, ever raised it except in a lawsuit is disappointing to us. Some of these claims go back two years. It's very disappointing these claims were not brought to our attention at the time they happened. It didn't happen, it just didn't happen. She chose to make this about money and about a lawsuit."

Grant worked for NASCAR from January 2005 to October 2007. NASCAR does not divulge why employees are terminated.

"She just didn't report anything to anybody," France said. "Quite the opposite. She was real pleased with her colleagues, most of her comments were she liked her job, liked being there, liked the camaraderie with other officials.

"There are dozens of ways to report such an incident. The system is a good one. It's pretty straightforward. We have a good policy in place, and we react very swiftly to anything reported. We have supervisors, we have human resources it can be reported to. They can email me directly."

France clearly would have preferred to handle Grant's allegations within NASCAR rather than facing a lawsuit.

"Would we have liked to not had a lawsuit filed?" France said. "Of course. Now, we have to deal with what we have to deal with."

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