TOWN OF NEWBURGH – A highway department employee has filed a federal lawsuit against the Town of Newburgh and its highway superintendent on charges that he was sexually harassed and the town did nothing to stop it.
Town Supervisor Gilbert Piaquadio had no comment since a lawsuit has been filed.
The lawsuit alleges that employee Patrick McVeigh was subjected to sexual harassment by unwanted physical touching on several occasions by Highway Superintendent Todd Depew and then was retaliated against after he reported it through his union.
The lawsuit, filed by McVeigh’s attorney, Christopher Watkins, alleged that shortly after McVeigh was hired in 2013, Depew began to physically touch him without his consent and that McVeigh began to document each time Depew would touch him or make inappropriate comments.
In September 2016, the union that represents highway workers filed a grievance on behalf of several employees alleging that Depew had harassed them in a number of ways, including through racist comments and “jokes” toward an African-American highway worker and McVeigh’s complaints of unwanted touching.
It is alleged that Depew then began to retaliate.