FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO.
259, 668 HONORABLE GEORGE C. METOYER JR., DISTRICT JUDGE
E. Broussard, Jr. Broussard, Halcomb & Vizzier COUNSEL
FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT: Dustin Bonial
M. Oxenhandler Gold, Weems, Bruser, Sues & Rundell
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: City of Alexandria
composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Marc T.
Amy, and Elizabeth A. Pickett, Judges.
T. AMY JUDGE.
directing a racial epithet towards a coworker, the plaintiff
was terminated from his employment with the City of
Alexandria. He appealed his termination to the Alexandria
Civil Service Commission, where a majority of the Commission
members voted to affirm the termination. The plaintiff then
appealed his termination to the trial court, which affirmed
the Commission's decision. He now appeals to this Court.
For the following reasons, we affirm.
and Procedural Background
Bonial worked for the City of Alexandria as an apprentice
lineman in the Electric Distribution Department. After
allegations of an incident occurring between Mr. Bonial and a
coworker, a pre-disciplinary hearing was held. At this
hearing, Mr. Bonial admitted that, on January 23, 2017, he
used a racial epithet regarding a coworker, Charles Turner,
in the breakroom of the City's facility. Citing
violations of the City's "Workplace Conduct
Policy" and Civil Service Rule XII, § 1.3, the City
terminated Mr. Bonial from his employment on February 16,
2017. Subsequently, Mr. Bonial appealed his termination to
the Alexandria Civil Service Commission
("Commission"), and a hearing was held. At the
hearing, the parties stipulated "that Mr. Bonial called
Mr. Turner" by the epithet.
Turner testified at the hearing, explaining that he is a
warehouse clerk with the City's electrical department. He
was asked by counsel for the City to recount what happened in
the City's breakroom on January 23, 2017:
Q Could you explain to the board what happened some - - some
time in the morning, I believe it was?
A It was at - - I think it was lunchtime. I just was walking
in the break room to go use the bathroom. I just wanted to
chill. And it's, "Look at this n ----- [hereinafter
"racial epithet"]," you know.
. . . .
Q And how did that make you feel?
A Disrespected . . . why would [someone] say that? . . . I
wasn't worried about him or focused on him. I was going
to use the bathroom.
Turner was subsequently questioned on cross examination by
counsel for Mr. Bonial, as follows:
Q Tell me exactly what he said.
A He said - - swung his chair around, "Hey, y'all,
look at this [racial epithet]."
Q He just - - he just said that out of the blue?
A Just said it out of the blue.
. . . .
Q I say - - my question: Did you ever tell him that you
didn't want him ...