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Gettysburg fires cop named in harassment lawsuit

Written by Lillian Reed/The Hanover Evening Sun | Nov 14, 2017 6:25 PM
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(Hanover) -- Gettysburg Borough Council voted unanimously Monday to fire police officer Michael Carricato.

Borough manager Charles Gable declined to comment on reasons for Carricato's termination, citing that it was a personnel issue that is protected under the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act. 

Officer Brandi Courtesis filed a federal lawsuit in February alleging Carricato had sexually harassed her. In the suit, Courtesis alleged that the borough and her superiors Chief Joseph Dougherty and Sgt. Larry Weikert discriminated against her gender and retaliated against her after she complained of Carricato.

The borough settled the suit with Courtesis over the summer. 

Courtesis and Carricato had a relationship for several months in 2014. But in the fall of 2015, Carricato allegedly began making inappropriate and sexually explicit comments to her in the workplace, the suit states.

When Courtesis complained to her supervisors, Dougherty allegedly issued both Carricato and Courtesis counselling memos, a form of discipline, according to the suit.

In the last two years, Courtesis continued to approach supervising officers -- the chief, the borough manager, the borough secretary, human resources officials  -- about the sexual harassment claims, but the complaints were allegedly never addressed, the suit states.

In December 2015, Carricato allegedly threatened her in an attempt to get her to retract her complaints, saying he would "do everything in his power to make sure she was dragged down with him," the suit states.

Courtesis withdrew her complaint as a result.

In early 2016, Courtesis was transferred to a new squad overseen by Weikert. He allegedly told Courtesis she had to "thicken her skin." Carricato was also transferred to the same squad shortly thereafter and the sexual harassment continued, according to the suit.

Some additional claims in the suit include how Courtesis was allegedly asked during her job interview with the department if she intended to have more children and asked if she could handle joking of a sexual nature. She was allegedly passed over for a job promotion that was offered to Carricato, despite Courtesis having seniority over him.

The suit also states that when officers in the department learned of the sexual harassment and the officer's complaints, they allegedly joked about the harassment and Courtesis in her presence.

Courtesis no longer works for the borough, Gable said.

This story comes to us through a partnership betwee WITF and The Hanover Evening Sun

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