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Former firefighter sues borough for sexual harassment and discrimination

KESA courtesy of KPB.us.jpg
Courtesy Photo
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Kenai Peninsula Borough

The Kenai Peninsula Borough has been sued by a former south peninsula firefighter who says she was sexually harassed by a supervisor, then fired for speaking out about that harassment.

The lawsuit, filed in Anchorage Superior Court Monday, Jan. 23, alleges former fire technician Courtney Moody from Kachemak Emergency Services Agency was sexually harassed repeatedly by her boss, Deputy Chief Mark Clinton, over several months. Moody said she reported the behavior to the service area chief repeatedly, but that no action was taken.

According to the lawsuit, Clinton was eventually fired by the borough in January 2021, after a male colleague shared an open letter about his misconduct involving multiple women.

Moody was fired around the same time and said she was never provided a reason for her firing — nor was her boyfriend, who she said was employed by the same department and fired at the same time.

“It’s taken me this long to just finally feel like I have a voice again. It took a while to get over it,” she said. “I’m still not over it.”

Moody said she doesn't have any intention of returning to work for the Kachemak Service Area, but does hope her lawsuit will make the department a better environment for women, which she described as a, “good old boys club.”

Borough Attorney Sean Kelley said he has not yet been served the lawsuit.

This is the second sexual harassment case against the borough in recent months. The borough is still embroiled in a lawsuit regarding former Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce, who stepped down last August after he was accused of sexually harassing another former borough employee.

In the lawsuit, the employee alleged the borough failed to protect her against that repeated harassment from Pierce. That case is still awaiting a ruling.

Pierce was the borough mayor at the time of Moody’s firing, according to the lawsuit.

Riley Board is a Report For America reporter covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula for KDLL.
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