Employment panel sides with Forks in case brought by former police sergeant

FORKS — Sexual harassment charges brought by a former Forks police sergeant aren’t sufficient to prompt state charges, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has decided.

The charges brought by former Forks Police Sgt. JoElle Munger against the city of Forks do not constitute violations of the Equal Pay Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act or the American with Disabilities Act, the EEOC decided.

The notice, which was released by the city of Forks after the Peninsula Daily News filed a Freedom of Information request, said that “the EEOC is unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violations of the statutes.

“This does not certify that the respondent is in compliance with the statues.

“No finding is made as to any other issues that might be construed as having been raised by this charge.”

Several phone calls to reach Munger and her attorney, Dave Neupert, were not answered or returned.

“They sent out an investigator who reviewed the claim, and told her that her claim of sexual harassment did not rise to the statutory level that defines what constitutes sexual harassment,” said Forks Mayor Nedra Reed.

“It does not go into a great deal of detail, and the investigator did not get a great deal of background, and the letter was very plainly written.”

Munger had said in a written complaint to the city of Forks in 2007 that the chief embraced her, kissed her on the forehead, brushed powdered sugar from a doughnut off her chest and touched her stomach when she was pregnant.

In each instance she wrote in a letter to the city that she felt the purpose was solely to touch her.

She had said the incidents occurred over the course of two years ranging from 2004 to 2006.

Although the chief acknowledged in an internal investigation by the city that he recalled some of the events, he denied sexual motives behind them.

Munger was one of three Forks Police Department staff members — including Tom Scott and Deanna DeMatteis — who were fired on Feb. 29.

The determination does not prevent Munger from filing a lawsuit against the city.

No lawsuit had been filed in Clallam County Superior Court by Thursday.

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