A Michigan fire officer is claiming she was discriminated against when she was not made acting fire chief despite having served as interim chief for eighteen months.
Training and Safety Officer Ona Lee Aguilar of the Saginaw Fire Department claims she was offered the job of acting fire chief in August, 2013 by City Manager Darnell Earley. Earley previously appointed Aguilar to be interim chief in February, 2012.
According to attorney Victor Mastromarco, Jr. who represents Aguilar, after Earley offered her the acting position, the firefighter’s union informed her she could not remain a member. Thereafter, the city reneged on the offer and instead reached an agreement with the union that acting chief appointments would be based solely upon rank and seniority. A short time later, Earley appointed another officer, Chris Van Loo, to serve as acting chief. Because of the new arrangement, Van Loo was permitted to remain in the union.
Mastromarco was quoted as saying “The city didn’t want a female fire chief, even though she was completely qualified.” The suit seeks in excess of $25,000 in damages.