Former Cheyenne city staffer alleges abuse, discrimination by ex-mayor

By: 
Cheyenne (WNE)
CHEYENNE (WNE) — A former employee is suing the city of Cheyenne for alleged discrimination based on a disability and also alleges abuse by former Mayor Marian Orr. 
Denise Freeman claims in a federal lawsuit that the city denied her reasonable accommodation for a disability. She said she was terminated by Orr because she took approved unpaid medical leave and, after that had been exhausted, requested additional unpaid medical leave guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
The city’s alleged unlawful employment practices “were intentional” and “done with malice or reckless indifference for Ms. Freeman’s federally protected rights,” the lawsuit said.
The suit was filed April 7 in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming. 
Freeman has requested a jury trial, as well as damages, including compensation for lost wages and benefits, front and back pay, lost economic potential, compensation for harm to her reputation and attorney’s fees. 
She said in the lawsuit that she “will continue to suffer humiliation, embarrassment, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional pain, mental suffering and inconvenience” as a result of the city’s alleged violation of the ADA. 
Amanda F. Esch, who is representing the city in this case, said Tuesday afternoon that the city denies Freeman’s claims of discrimination. Esch said the city is working on its required response to the lawsuit. 
Orr, who took office in January 2017, “was prone to fits of rage and would lash out angrily at Ms. Freeman and other city employees,” according to the suit. Freeman said the former mayor “would scream diatribes, swear at and in the presence of city employees, and stomp angrily out of meetings.” 
The former mayor on Tuesday said she did not want to comment on ongoing litigation.
 
This story was posted on April 13, 2022.

 

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