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City worker sues Clearwater, claims sexual discrimination

A city employee who claims he was passed over for a promotion because he was a man is suing the city, saying that city officials have harassed him since he complained about the sexual discrimination. In the federal suit filed Wednesday, Roger Brennan, city utilities credit manager, claims that in 1987 he had the most experience and scored the highest on tests, but a promotion was given to a woman.

He filed a sexual discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Jan. 15, 1988, and says that since then he has been harassed in the following ways:

With inaccurate and unfavorable job evaluations.

With diminished authority over employees he once supervised.

With diminished responsibility and authority necessary to do his job.

With verbal humiliation and degradation in front of his colleagues.

With unfounded accusations of mismanagement.

Last May, the EEOC determined that Brennan's charge of retaliatory conduct by the city was supported by his evidence. Earlier this month, the EEOC gave him the go-ahead to file suit in the U.S. District Court.

Brennan also was suspended without pay in August 1989 after he was asked to investigate a prank performed by one of his employees.

During his investigation, Brennan found that more than one employee was involved and he recommended that no action be taken against the accused employee.

However, he wrote in a memo that his supervisor had a personal vendetta against the employee. He also called his supervisor's behavior inappropriate.

City officials charged that Brennan was insubordinate, incompetent and used offensive language in the memo. The first two charges were dismissed by a hearing officer several months ago, and the third was upheld, as was the suspension and 40 points assessed against his discipline record.

Brennan claims that the action against him also was retaliatory. When employees amass 60 points, they can be fired. The city has announced its plan to eliminate the position Brennan now holds. The suit says the job is being eliminated to force Brennan out.

The suit states that Brennan suffered lost wages, humiliation, public embarrassment, mental anguish and damage to his reputation and should be paid accordingly, although the suit asks for no specific amount.