Spidle, who began working in the finance department in 1986, served as head of the general accounting staff. She was named in complaints given to chief of operations Jarvis Patton by six separate employees, whom he has referred to as "The Birmingham Six". Patton investigated and determined that Spidle had created a racially-charged hostile work environment and systematically denied advancement to African Americans. She was terminated in October 2010.
Spidle and her attorneys disputed those charges and produced other employees who found no racism and praised her as a professional and courteous, but demanding, supervisor. She believes that her firing was partly motivated by her public disagreement with Bell over the amount of budget deficit left by Larry Langford's tenure.
The Personnel Board agreed with Spidle and ordered her reinstatement in January 2012, including back pay. She also filed to have her attorney's fees paid by the city. Just days after she returned to work, Spidle was again fired on charges of incompetence. She subsequently filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging a pattern of racism and ageism against white city employees.
- Bryant, Joseph D. (November 27, 2010) "Former Birmingham city accountant appeals firing." Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (January 11, 2012) "Birmingham accountant fired on bias allegations reinstated by Jefferson County Personnel Board." Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (January 26, 2012) "Birmingham city accountant reinstated by Personnel Board accused of incompetence." Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (February 17, 2012) "Birmingham city accountant -- fired, reinstated and fired again -- files EEOC complaint." Birmingham News