Mayor Charlie Pierce speaks at a Kenai Peninsula Borough meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2018. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Mayor Charlie Pierce speaks at a Kenai Peninsula Borough meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2018. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Discrimination lawsuit filed against borough, Mayor Pierce

  • By BRIAN MAZUREK Peninsula Clarion
  • Friday, January 25, 2019 1:30pm
  • NewsLocal News

The former human resources director for the Kenai Peninsula Borough filed a discrimination lawsuit against the borough and Mayor Charlie Pierce on Monday, according to documents filed with the Kenai court.

Sandra Brown alleged that she experienced disability discrimination by Pierce following her diagnosis with terminal breast cancer. According to the lawsuit, Brown received her diagnosis on May 24, 2018 and notified Pierce on June 13, 2018, after being approved for intermittent medical leave.

In the court documents, Brown alleges that Pierce’s response to the news about her diagnosis included inappropriate comments that implied her diagnosis was “not a big deal.”

Brown also claims that in the months after notifying Pierce and the borough about her diagnosis, Pierce excluded her from meetings pertaining to her job, publicly humiliated her, and rescheduled her performance evaluation on dates when Brown had approved medical leave, according to court documents.

Brown alleges that the discrimination culminated in a meeting with Pierce’s chief of staff on Sept. 28, 2018, and that she had been lied to about the purpose of the meeting. After arriving, Brown alleges, the chief of staff and the borough attorney told her that the meeting had actually been called at the direction of the mayor — who had ordered them to meet and notify Brown that she was terminated, effective immediately.

Brown was the director of human resources for the borough from 2012 to 2018, and Pierce was elected as borough mayor in November of 2017.

The mayor’s office did not respond to requests for comments on the lawsuit.

• By BRIAN MAZUREK, Peninsula Clarion

More in News

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
Case count dips after 5 record days of positive cases

Alaska has had 1,338 cases of the disease since the state began tracking the pandemic in March.

Courtesy photo | Colleen Torrence
                                Marcella Livemond (left) and her niece, Colleen Torrence, pose in an undated photo.
‘A death that wasn’t theirs’: Local woman says Juneau COVID-19 death incorrectly counted

Deceased was listed as Juneau resident, her niece says she never lived here.

Homer Farmers Market: Options abound for fresh local food

July is upon us with all the regular harvest surprises. The Wednesday… Continue reading

A member of the Homer Senior Citizens Center float marches in the July Fourth parade on Thursday, July 4, 2019 on Pioneer Avenue in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Some July fourth events continue on southern peninsula

Amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic in Alaska, celebrating Independence Day is… Continue reading

Barbara Howard (top left), Matt Clarke (top right), Kate Finn (center left), Andrea Browning (center right) and Aaron Weisser (bottom left) listen to Homer city manager candidate Rob Dumouchel (bottom right) speak during an interview with the City Manager Hiring Committee on Monday, June 29, 2020 via Zoom in Homer, Alaska. (Screenshot by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Hiring committee recommends candidate for city manager

After hearing what he had to say, members of the City Manager… Continue reading

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a press conference on June 30, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Austin McDaniel/Governor’s Office)
‘Don’t get complacent,’ governor says of pandemic

As Alaska saw one of its highest single-day increases in new positive… Continue reading

Homer City Hall. (Homer News file photo)
Relief grants for small Homer businesses now available

Using a portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES)… Continue reading

Registered Nurse Cathy Davis (left) and Chief Nursing Officer Dawn Johnson (right) work at a table to get COVID-19 tests ready for the public Friday, May 29, 2020 at the Boat House Pavilion on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. South Peninsula Hospital is now offering free COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic people with no appointments necessary at the Boat House Pavilion through June 6. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
3 cities, 3 testing strategies

Peninsula communities take different approaches to COVID-19 testing.

Most Read