Kauffman Scholars' executive director abruptly quits - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Kauffman Scholars' executive director abruptly quits

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The executive director of the Kauffman Scholars has abruptly quit, but officials insist it has nothing to do with a complaint filed by a pregnant woman over her termination.

Jabari Turner's last day on the job was May 31, KCTV5 confirmed Friday. Neil Neumeyer, spokesman for the Kauffman Scholars, insisted that Turner's abrupt departure was for personal reasons and it was only coincidental that it occurred after a pregnant woman filed an EEOC complaint.

Turner could not be reached for comment.

Carol Caron has filed an EEOC complaint against the Kauffman Scholars, which is a program by the Kauffman Foundation designed to help inner-city students prepare for a college education. She said her bosses couldn't handle her high-risk pregnancy.

Sources tell KCTV5's Jeanene Kiesling that Turner has not been at work since KCTV5's story on the Caron's complaint aired on May 21, but Neumeyer denies that claim.

"The Kauffman Foundation has asked him to serve in a formal advisory role through the end of June but anticipates he will be available informally beyond that," Neumeyer said in a statement. "Mr. Turner's departure has no relation to the recent story aired by KCTV5."

He said Kauffman Scholars stands behind his decision to eliminate two identical positions that were no longer needed including Caron's.

"We want to make clear that neither Kauffman Scholars nor the Kauffman Foundation makes employment decisions based on pregnancy," Neumeyer said.

He added, "Kauffman Scholars stands behind that decision and will defend against any charges that challenge it."

KCTV5 could not reach Caron's attorney on Friday.

Do you think Turner's departure is related to Caron's termination or was it truly coincidental? Tell us at KCTV5's Facebook page. Click here.

Here is the full statement from the Kauffman Foundation:

Jabari Turner decided to resign as executive director of Kauffman Scholars for personal reasons, effective May 31. The Kauffman Foundation has asked him to serve in a formal advisory role through the end of June but anticipates he will be available informally beyond that. Mr. Turner's departure has no relation to the recent story aired by KCTV-5.

We want to make clear that neither Kauffman Scholars nor the Kauffman Foundation make employment decisions based on pregnancy. At the end of February, Kauffman Scholars eliminated two identical positions because the positions were no longer needed. The people in those positions were offered a severance. Kauffman Scholars stands behind that decision and will defend against any charges that challenge it.

Again, Mr. Turner's decision to resign from Kauffman Scholars was for personal reasons and has no connection. Reporting otherwise would be irresponsible, inaccurate, and a disservice to the individuals involved.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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