Documents Reveal Charges, Responses - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Documents Reveal Charges, Responses

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The former city attorney for Minot says she was harassed based on her gender.

Colleen Auer was fired nearly two weeks ago.

But she says her firing was in retaliation for an employment complaint she made against the city manager.

Internal documents requested by KX News show the details of the complaint, the response to it, and the investigation.

Fired city attorney Colleen Auer says she was fired from her job in retaliation for filing an employment complaint against the city manager.

We've shown you the timeline of Auer's five weeks on the job and how she says she was fired the day after asking about taking her complaint to the full city council.

Now, in documents released after a request from KX News, details of the complaint and the response to it are available.

Auer says at an April 17? meeting with her supervisor, interim city manager Cindy Hemphill and the human resources director, Hemphill, quote, engaged in a pattern of controlling, abusive, and unauthorized behavior towards me because I am a female attorney who does not behave like my male predecessor, unquote.

Hemphill's response to the complaint says there was no such behavior. She says she works well with the assistant city attorney who is also female.

Hemphill says she left the meeting frustrated that Auer was not listening to Hemphill's input.

Auer's complaint also said Hemphill's harassment has precluded her from doing her duties as outlined in city code.

Hemphill denied blocking Auer's work, and denied nearly all of the accusations made in the complaint.

On one charge made by Auer that she was threatened with firing if she did not get legal work finished quickly on a downtown parking lot project, Hemphill accused Auer of a blatant lie saying she did not say Auer would lose her job.

As for what led up to Auer's firing, there are no documents in her personnel file related to job performance problems or disciplinary issues before May 2nd, when she was fired.

Auer has promised legal action against the city, claiming the city did not follow its own rules for terminating an employee, and for being fired because she had made an employment complaint.

Jim Olson, KX News.

Auer says she intends to pursue official employment complaints as well as a lawsuit against the city.

City officials have declined comment citing the possible legal action.

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