A three-decade veteran of the Michigan Department of Corrections is suing after being repeatedly denied promotion.

Kim Cargor, a 61-year-old deputy director who joined the department in 1985, is suing in Washtenaw County Circuit Court. The case, filed last week, says she is the victim of cronyism and discrimination against her as a black woman.


Kim Cargor: “It’s not…how well you can do the job.” (Photo: Michigan Department of Corrections)

“It’s not how much you know and how well you can do the job,” she tells the Detroit Free Press in a paid article. “They repeatedly hired people with less experience and less qualifications.”

Cargor has served as assistant director of the Charles E. Egeler Reception and Guidance Center near Jackson since 2011, except for a seven-month stint in 2020 and 2021, when she served as director there through interim.

Cargor, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University, has never been disciplined and has always received positive performance reviews, according to the complaint.

Yet Cargor, of Ypsilanti, said she had been turned down or overlooked six times for a caretaker job. Since 2018, the corrections department has appointed at least 19 wardens — almost all of them men, and only one was a black woman, according to the lawsuit. …

Jonathan Marko, Cargor’s Detroit attorney, said Cargor hit “a glass ceiling for promotion, especially among minorities.” …

“She was just a model employee for Michigan State,” Marko said. “And she has a guardian written all over her. … It’s very clear that she was discriminated against.”

Freep reporter Paul Egan notes that the attorney “has won judgments or settlements in numerous discrimination and retaliation lawsuits against the correctional service.”

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