Ex-inspector again sues city for firing
Now a parking enforcement clerk, woman claims second termination was retaliation.
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.