Nolan Perroni, PC was very proud to represent Tracy Blanchette in her brave appeal against systemic discrimination resulting in this landmark victory. Every level of government actively worked against the appellant in order to preserve a culture of favoritism and gender bias. The Civil Service Commission here has, in a 58-page stinging decision, called the City on the carpet, not just for their discriminatory employment practices, but for concealing conflicts of interest, for outright ignoring complaints of gender bias and for the repeated, dishonest sworn-testimony by top ranking city officials.
In light of the intolerable conduct proven in this significant case, the Commission is prepared to issue the very rare remedy or ordering that the City promote Ms. Blanchette from private to Captain, with all back pay and benefits.
Among other things, the Commission found:
-Given how dubious I am of much of Chief Sheehy’s testimony concerning the process, the City’s evidence is not credible and cannot be relied upon to sustain its burden of proof in this bypass appeal.
-Moreover, Chief Sheehy exercised great influence over the other three interview panelists (two of whom had never worked in the fire service), going so far as to advise them at the start of the interview process of the answers he expected to hear based on the questions posed to the candidates.
-It is plainly evident to me that all the contractual and other internal processes normally in place to ensure fair treatment were, in fact, unavailable to her, and instead were actively or passively working against her.
-The union acquiesced to what amounted to nearly a yearlong stay of the grievance; indeed, by the end of 2019, it had not even met with the City to discuss the matter, nor had it filed for arbitration.
The union president blamed the City – stating that Randazzo asked the union to agree to postpone the matter.
-Ms. Randazzo said the opposite – she claimed that the union never pursued the matter, and that she did not know anything about it other than it was filed.
-The City was ordered to produce to this Commissioner the email trail between itself and the union, or suffer adverse factual findings. It never complied with my order.
-I have thus concluded that Randazzo did not testify forthrightly.
Moreover, the union never requested a single document from the City to investigate appellant’s grievance.
–Likewise, the City Council never investigated Blanchette’s complaint. It approved the promotion of Tulley on February 4, 2019, after receiving Appellant’s detailed complaint of gender discrimination.*
*-The Council never asked a single question of Chief Sheehy during its meeting and Councilor McCarty voted in favor of Tulley without even mentioning his family relationship with the Intervenor.**
-HR Director and Assistant Solicitor Anne Randazzo is the City official responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination.
She was directly involved in this case. She never even considered looking into the complaint, even though she received a copy from either Chief Sheehy or the Council shortly after it was filed.
-Randazzo testified that she figured Blanchette could get her remedy from this Commission, or perhaps the MCAD or EEOC, and thus never looked into the matter. In fact, she claims, she never even thought to do so.
-For that matter, neither did the Mayor, the Chief, the Council, or the Union.