Open Mouth, Insert Feet
Statter 911 reports that Patricia Tomasello, of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) , has filed a lawsuit charging civil conspiracy, malicious interference and emotional distress.
IAFF Local 2068 President John Niemiec said yesterday, via social media, about the suit, “Many of you have seen that another lawsuit was filed yesterday in federal court against Fairfax County naming several of our members. It is unfortunate that some choose to take the opportunity to claim personal agendas as we all continue to grieve the loss of our Sister Nicole.”
It’s yet another instance of Niemiec ducking the real issues while taking potshots that are both easy and inappropriate.
In fact, it’s Niemiec’s version of the Bowers “candyman” approach where soothing, (and diversionary) words take the place of reality and real action.
Second Bite at the Apple?
Tomasello got nowhere in her earlier suit as it was summarily dismissed by US Federal Judge T.S. Ellis III.
Anyone contemplating suing their employer for alleged harassment or discrimination should read it carefully as the bar is high, very high.
It’s not at all clear that this suit will fare any better.
Which makes Niemiec’s inflammatory comments all the more odd and unnecessary.
In just a few words Niemiec both marginalizes and isolates Tomasello for no rational reason: “some choose to take the opportunity to claim personal agendas as we all continue to grieve the loss of our Sister Nicole.”
Worse yet, he purposely juxtaposes the lawsuit with the Mittendorff death in an attempt to make it appear that Tomasello’s action is somehow related.
Her lawsuit may lack merit but connecting it with the Mittendorff suicide is completely unnecessary, reckless even.
Why is it that Niemiec has no strong words for the department leaders who have created and fostered the current sexualized environment but feels free to sucker punch Tomasello?
Answer: It takes courage to take on the department and absolutely none to whack Tomasello.
A Problem With the Truth
Judge Ellis made it clear that Tomasello did not tell the truth and that fact becomes part of the current landscape.
But no less damning is Niemiec’s decision to link up Tomasello’s suit and the timing of it with the death of Mittendorff.
That’s untruthfulness, too.