WASHINGTON – Joyce Kimble lost her Democratic primary bid for Congress earlier this year and now she has lost a round in her far-ranging legal battle against Montgomery County and county school officials.
But Kimbles don’t give up easy: Joyce is the mother of three-time failed GOP congressional candidate John Kimble, whose race-baiting campaign in the 4th District grabbed headlines this year.
And Mrs. Kimble, who ran unsuccessfully in this year’s Democratic primary for Congress from Maryland’s 8th District, said she plans to press on with her case, appealing to O.J. Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran for help if she has to.
“I will amend this complaint, a woman has to have rights,” Kimble said of her suit. It charges county and school officials with negligence, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violation of her civil rights, among other claims stemming from an alleged assault at Gaithersburg High School.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week rejected her appeal because the case was still pending in a lower court.
But an attorney for the county dismissed Kimble’s claims as little more than a nuisance suit.
“I’m hoping that they (U.S. District Court judges) can dismiss this case so we can just file it away,” said Assistant County Attorney Patricia P. Via.
Montgomery County school system officials did not return phone calls seeking comment on the suit.
Kimble, acting as her own attorney, filed a 45-page lawsuit in federal district court in Greenbelt against the Montgomery County Board of Education, county schools and the county government.
In it, she claims that “she was sexually assaulted after years of harassment” while working as a teacher in Gaithersburg High School. She also claimed that the charges were covered up because she is white and her assailant, a retired Washington, D.C., police officer who was working in security in the school, is black.
“I should have run him (the guard) over in my car,” Kimble says now.
Neither she nor the guard works at the school any longer.
Kimble said she complained to her superiors in 1997, but that nothing was done. That prompted her to file suit in federal court on Jan. 24, 2000 — just over three years after she said she reported the problems to her bosses.
Because she was acting as her own attorney, the district court gave Kimble extra time to amend her lawsuit and refile it. But she appealed to the circuit court, instead, which last week rejected her case. The deadline for her to refile in district court, meanwhile, has passed, according to Via.
Still, Kimble said she plans to press ahead with her suit. She said she has nothing to lose by doing so.
“I’m sitting on the verge of homelessness, I’m going to lose everything I own,” she said.
Even though Cochran has made a name for himself defending African- Americans in court, Kimble did not seem to think there would be a problem with him taking the case of a white woman accusing a black man. In fact, she said, it is one of the reasons she is considering Cochran, who is black.
“He’s the only attorney this county can respect,” she said.
Aides in Cochran’s firm would not say whether they had been contacted by Kimble nor would they comment on the number of unsolicited calls they receive requesting Cochran’s services on any given day.