MADISON, Wis. — A recently promoted Wisconsin Department of Justice official who has accused the agency of racial and sexual discrimination has filed a federal lawsuit against Attorney General Josh Kaul and his top deputy.
Tina Virgil, the head of the Division of Criminal Investigation, stated in the suit filed last week that Kaul and Deputy Attorney General Eric Wilson violated her civil rights by underpaying and mistreating her because she is a Black woman, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Similar allegations were outlined in a complaint Virgil filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April.
Virgil says she was hired by Kaul at a salary below her predecessors, who were white men. She says she has more experience than any other DOJ administrators but was paid less than all of them at the time of her appointment. All the other administrators are white.
Virgil, 57, was promoted last months to lead the Division of Criminal Investigation, resulting in a pay increase from $116,000 a year to nearly $133,000. Kaul’s office said the promotion had nothing to do with her complaints about the agency.
Virgil’s attorney, Lester Pines, said his client and the state are currently in talks and “hope to resolve all of Tina Virgil’s claims soon.”
Gillian Drummond, a spokeswoman for Kaul, said the agency denies the allegations leveled in the new suit, some of which were not stated in the EEOC complaint.
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