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Stanislaus fire official facing sexual harassment claims

New information has been revealed about a former fire chief who was demoted and suspended before retiring in December. Representatives from the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire District report that the man had accrued some 20 employment-related infractions, including sexual harassment and retaliation. The man's sudden departure from the fire department had raised questions, though, there is now additional data about the man's activities. Three lawsuits have been filed by employees who accused the man of serious employment-related offenses, including various types of harassment and discrimination.

In additional to sexual harassment in the workplace, the man is accused of age discrimination and other violations. This individual reportedly established a hostile work environment in which women were bullied with profanities and descriptions of sexual fantasies. The man is also accused of illegally destroying documents, lying to board members and even releasing confidential information to unauthorized sources.

Attorneys for the former firefighter say that the man did not receive the due process he deserved during his forced suspension, demotion and retirement. Those lawyers want government officials to block the man's demotion in the case, which has effectively reduced his ongoing retirement pay. It is not clear whether that claim will be entertained by civil courts in the matter.

This man appears to have created a hostile work environment by belittling, harassing and even bullying his subordinates. In many cases, victims of such abuse are afraid to speak out because they believe they might lose their jobs. Victims of sexual harassment may have other legal options, however. California residents who think they have been victimized by unscrupulous employers may benefit from a consultation with a qualified criminal defense attorney, who can help them take legal action against inappropriate bosses such as the man described in this case.

Source: Merced Sun-Star, "Court papers shed some light on the mysterious departure of Stanislaus Consolidated fire chief" Garth Stapley, Jan. 04, 2014

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