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DEMILO-FYTROS v. CITY OF MT. VERNON

February 18, 1998

KATHERYN DEMILO-FYTROS, Plaintiff, against CITY OF MOUNT VERNON, MOUNT VERNON DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, RONALD BLACKWOOD, RALPH FATIGATE, MICHAEL CRAPARO and RICHARD DUNCAN, Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: PARKER

 BARRINGTON D. PARKER, JR., U.S.D.J.

 INTRODUCTION

 Plaintiff, a former member of the Mount Vernon Department of Public Safety (the "Department"), filed this suit in May 1996, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.; and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., alleging that the defendants unlawfully discriminated against her by subjecting her to sexual harassment and by denying her promotions and otherwise discriminating against her on the basis of her sex and her work incurred disability. Defendant Ronald Blackwood was the Mayor of Mount Vernon from February 1, 1985 until December 31, 1995. Defendants Ralph Fatigate, Michael Craparo, and Richard Duncan were members of the Department during the events giving rise to this lawsuit.

 The defendants have moved for summary judgment. The individual defendants also assert the defense of qualified immunity. For the reasons that follow, defendants' motion is granted in part and denied in part. The Title VII claims are dismissed as to the individual defendants and defendant Ronald Blackwood is entitled to qualified immunity. In all other respects, the defendants' motion is denied.

 BACKGROUND

 What follows is a brief summary of the facts of the case. As required on a motion for summary judgment, any ambiguities have been resolved in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, as the party opposing the motion, and all reasonable inferences have been drawn in favor of the plaintiff. Wernick v. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 91 F.3d 379, 382 (2d Cir. 1996).

 The events that form the basis of plaintiff's claims span 14 years, from 1982 to 1996. Throughout this period plaintiff contends that she was repeatedly denied promotions on the basis of sex. One more than one occasion plaintiff was at or near the top of the eligibility list for a promotion, based on, among other things, her scores on civil service exams. Repeatedly, however, the promotion was awarded to a lower ranked male candidate.

 Plaintiff also complains of a series of sexually degrading remarks, computer messages, and jokes through the years. For example, plaintiff states that television programs and videotapes depicting sexual acts were viewed in the Department, lewd computer messages were circulated via E-mail, and graphic sexual images were printed on notices posted in the Department.

 Plaintiff also alleges a variety of other discriminatory practices. For example, she was provided with a bulletproof vest made for a man that did not properly fit her and more than 10 years elapsed before she was reissued a better fitting vest. Although the Department had a separate locker room for male supervisors, there was no separate locker room for female supervisors. Plaintiff was not recommended for specialized training while men possessing comparable experience and qualifications were so recommended. On two occasions other officers failed to respond to plaintiff's calls for backup assistance.

 Plaintiff also complains of a variety of other acts occurring outside the Department that she believes were perpetrated by members of the Department. For example, plaintiff's car was repeatedly vandalized. Once, the bolts on the vehicle's front tire were loosened. On another occasion, a gunshot shattered her vehicle's rear window. A dead pigeon was also placed on her windshield. Additionally, someone once called in a false report of plaintiff's death.

 When plaintiff injured her back in the line of duty in January 1995, and had to miss numerous days of work, she was penalized for having been absent, even though plaintiff claims that each absence was medically necessary and that she had obtained the proper medical documentation and necessary approvals. Specifically, plaintiff's assignment was changed to one that decreased her chances of promotion and also so aggravated her back ...


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