Feds sue N.Y. town, FD for gender discrimination, harassment

The lawsuit states that a senior firefighter stalked and harassed then-firefighter Angela Bommarito and criticizes Harrison Fire Department and town officials


By Leila Merrill

HARRISON, N.Y. — Federal prosecutors are suing the town of Harrison and its fire department, alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment against a former firefighter, CNN reported.

Prosecutors say the town and the department, "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," a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office states.

Angela Bommarito joined the Harrison Fire Department in 2015. A lawsuit filed Wednesday states that she was coerced into resigning.
Angela Bommarito joined the Harrison Fire Department in 2015. A lawsuit filed Wednesday states that she was coerced into resigning. (Photo/Harrison Fire Department)

Angela Bommarito joined the Harrison Fire Department in 2015.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York alleges that senior firefighter Henry Mohr stalked Bommarito, harassed her, and called her a "whore" and "bitch" in front of coworkers after she tried to break up with him.

She reported his behavior to town and fire department officials, but no adequate investigation occurred, prosecutors say. She filed a complaint against Mohr with the Harrison Police Department after the alleged stalking and harassment continued.

The lawsuit states that “in an interaction that was recorded, the Police Chief explained how he intended to get a "guarantee" from the leadership of Harrison that there would be no discipline or adverse action taken against Mohr."

The prosecutors allege that no employment actions were taken against Mohr following a meeting Bommarito had with Harrison's personnel manager and an attorney representing the town. 

They also claim that the police chief pushed Bommarito to resign and she was not allowed to withdraw her resignation letter.

Mohr allegedly kept stalking and harassing Bommarito. He was arrested and pleaded guilty to second-degree harassment.

Mohr is still with the Harrison Fire Department, the suit states.

CNN was not able to get comments from the department, the town or Mohr.

 The U.S. Attorney's Office is asking the defendants to prohibit the town and its department from gender discrimination, develop policies and programs to better handle complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation, and to establish programs to prevent future such issues.

The prosecutors also are seeking compensation for Bommarito.

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