Settlement Reached In Ex-Fernley Worker's Sex Harassment Suits

FERNLEY, Nev. (AP) - Two sexual harassment lawsuits filed by a
former city of Fernley employee against two male supervisors in the
city Parks and Recreation Department have been settled.

A compromise settlement of $30,000 for Irene Humphrey was brokered by U.S. Magistrate Valerie Cooke after a four-hour conference April 22, the Lahontan Valley News and Fallon Eagle Standard newspaper reported Thursday.

In her first suit filed in Lyon County District Court in September 2006, Humphrey claimed superiors Keith Penner and Sandy Davis threatened her with the loss of her job if she didn't submit to their sexual demands.

According to the complaint, she submitted to Davis' demand in
September 2005 and to Penner's request in May 2006 because she
wanted to keep her job.

Humphrey filed a lawsuit against the city in U.S. District Court in Reno in November 2007 after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled she had the right to sue the city.

Because both the federal and state cases involved the same parties, Cooke helped them reach a settlement under the federal court's Early Neutral Evaluation Program.

"My client is pleased with the result, and the improvements the city will undertake will benefit current and future employees," said Humphrey's attorney, Jack Kennedy.

City officials said the settlement would avoid additional expenditures of city money.

"The fact that these cases were settled is not an admission the city or any member of the city staff did anything wrong," they said in a statement.

City Manager Gary Bacock said no punitive action has been taken
against Penner, the parks and recreation director. But Davis resigned as operations and projects coordinator in February 2007 after another female employee accused him of sexual harassment, Bacock said.
Information from: Lahontan Valley News,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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