Ex-in­spec­tor again sues city for fir­ing

Now a park­ing en­force­ment clerk, woman claims se­cond ter­mi­na­tion was re­tal­i­a­tion.

The Times-Tribune - - Local - Con­tact the writer: tbesecker@timessham­rock.com; 570-348-9137; @tmbeseck­erTT on Twit­ter BY TERRIE MOR­GAN-BESECKER STAFF WRITER

A for­mer Scran­ton hous­ing in­spec­tor who sued the city for dis­crim­i­na­tion filed a se­cond law­suit, al­leg­ing she was fired a se­cond time in re­tal­i­a­tion for fil­ing the first law­suit.

Pa­tri­cia Jen­nings-Fowler ini­tially sued the city in 2014. The suit raised sev­eral claims, in­clud­ing that for­mer Mayor Chris Do­herty fired her in Oc­to­ber 2013 be­cause she sup­ported his po­lit­i­cal op­po­nent and be­cause she com­plained of gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion. The city main­tained Jen­nings-Fowler was fired for claim­ing she was in­spect­ing homes when she ac­tu­ally was parked be­hind a city bowl­ing al­ley.

A fed­eral judge dis­missed the first law­suit in 2016, but the 3rd Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals later re­in­stated por­tions of it. It re­mains pend­ing in fed­eral court.

Jen­nings-Fowler was re­in­stated as a hous­ing in­spec­tor shortly af­ter she was fired the first time. She re­mained em­ployed in that po­si­tion un­til March 3, 2016, when she was fired again, ac­cord­ing to the new law­suit filed Aug. 29.

The law­suit, filed by Pittston at­tor­ney Cyn­thia Pol­lick, says Jen­nings-Fowler filed a union griev­ance over her se­cond fir­ing, and an ar­bi­tra­tor re­in­stated her. She now works as a civil­ian park­ing en­force­ment clerk for the Po­lice Depart­ment, ac­cord­ing to Scran­ton Po­lice Chief Carl Graziano.

The new law­suit claims Jen­nings-Fowler’s se­cond ter­mi­na­tion was in re­tal­i­a­tion for her fil­ing the first law­suit, which vi­o­lates her First Amend­ment right to free speech. She also again raises claims of gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion.

At­tempts to reach the city’s at­tor­ney, Kevin Con­aboy, for com­ment were un­suc­cess­ful.

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