Friday, June 25, 2010

City Officials, Anti-Harassment Trainer Claim a Changed Culture at Fire Department

A female firefighter on leave after charging the Westbrook Fire Department with
sexual harassment returned this week to a very different work environment,
according to city officials and a consultant who provided harassment prevention
training to the department. Lisa Theberge and another female firefighter, Kathy
Rogers, went on paid administrative leave in September 2008 due to what they
said was a hostile work environment. The two women also have a lawsuit pending
against the city. Rogers has not returned to the job. However, Theberge's first
day back at work was Monday, said the new fire chief, Michael Pardue. "She is
back in a very professional culture...and a very professional environment," said
Pardue, who has led the department since March. "This is an organization working
very hard to change whatever the image was previously."
- John C.L. Morgan

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