US Government sues Town/Village of Harrison, fire department, for discrimination and sexual harassment

Appellate Court overturns Orange County Supreme Court decision.

WHITE PLAINS – The US Government has filed a lawsuit against the Town and Village of Harrison and its volunteer fire department alleging discrimination on the basis of sex and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Harrison and the Harrison Fire Department are alleged to have unlawfully discriminated against a female firefighter by creating a hostile work environment and terminating her employment after she reported that a male senior firefighter had harassed and stalked her.

As alleged in the complaint filed in White Plains federal court, Angela Bommarito joined the fire department in 2015. In her first month on the job, senior firefighter Henry Mohr pressured her with unwanted sexual advances, later harassing and stalking her, including repeatedly following her and calling here on several occasions.

Mohr also allegedly used sexually demeaning expletives to describe Bommarito in front of other firefighters.

After Bommarito reported Mohr’s behavior to Harrison and fire department leaders, who failed to take any employment action against Mohr and the harassment continued, she filed a report with the police department.

In response, the then-police chief told Mohr in a recorded conversation that Bommarito’s presence at the firehouse was a “temptation,” which was “hard to resist sometimes,” and that the chief wanted to broker a deal with the town “to make sure this whole thing dies” so that he could get Mohr “out of this situation.”

Bommarito later signed a letter of resignation prepared by the police chief after he threatened to arrest her and report her other relationships to Harrison’s fire commissioners. She attempted to withdraw the resignation, but the fire department proceeded with here termination.

Following her departure from the fire department, Mohr continued to harass and stalk her. He was eventually arrested and pled guilty to harassment with a judge issuing an order of protection against Mohr.

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