One settlement has been reached, another complaint was dismissed and one case is still pending in regard to human rights department cases involving the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department.
Three employees in the sheriff's department filed separate sexual discrimination complaints against the sheriff's department last year, citing job discrimination based on gender. The employees who filed the complaints with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights were Marlene Segler, Gae Bock and Darla DeRosier.
The Crow Wing County Board approved a settlement agreement with Segler last week. At this time, the county attorney's office is not releasing the settlement until both parties have signed the necessary documents.
Jeff Holman, MDHR communications officer, said Tuesday that Segler's case is considered an open case at this time and he could not release any data regarding the case or the settlement until it is officially closed.
Holman said DeRosier's charge was dismissed. The reasons for the dismissal as stated on DeRosier's case file read:
"The charging party (DeRosier) was sent a copy of the respondent's (county) answer to the charge with a letter which requested a rebuttal within 30 days of receipt. This letter was not returned to the department and is presumed to have been delivered. The charging party failed to respond to the department's request for a rebuttal. The department's letter stated that the commissioner has authority to dismiss a charge of discrimination when, within 30 days of request, the charging party fails to either submit a rebuttal or obtain an extension of time in which to do so."
The Human Rights Act gives the commissioner of human rights authority to establish policies determining which charges are processed. Department policy states that certain charges may be dismissed as not warranting further use of its resources, such as when a charging party displays an apparent lack of interest in pursuing a charge.
Also in the file: "The respondent's answer to the charge presents specific, non-discriminatory reasons for its action complained of in the charge. If this defense were examined and found to be supported by the evidence, and not then shown to be a pretext for discrimination, the charge would be dismissed on its merits."
Bock's complaint against the county is still pending, according to the Crow Wing County attorney's office. Holman said the department has no records of a closed case with Bock and cannot discuss open cases.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.