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Fired city employee alleges discrimination

June 11, 2001

Alex Coolman

GLENDALE -- A man who was fired from his job with the city has filed a

$100,000 claim against Glendale alleging racial discrimination.

Maurice Brown, who worked as customer service representative for

Glendale's building and safety department, was fired after nine months,

he said. At the end of May, Brown, who is part Jamaican, filed a claim

with the city alleging his supervisor, Guia Murray, had discriminated

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against him.

Specifically, Brown said, Murray told him his clothes made him "look

like a gangster" and made jokes suggesting he was a drug dealer.

"One time my pager went off and she said, 'What kind of drug deals are

you making today?"' Brown said.

Murray declined to comment on the case. The city is investigating

Brown's claims, City Atty. Scott Howard said.

The reason given for his termination, Murray said, was a "failure to

complete probation." He said his evaluations were satisfactory but

conceded, "I guess my supervisor didn't like my performance" and

acknowledged that "I'm not the type of person who fits in" with

co-workers.

Murray's position had an annual salary of between $28,476 and $37,224.

It involved contact with the public and carried a six-month probationary

period, according to city staff.

During a city employee's probationary period, he or she can be fired

"for any reason," Howard said. "You don't need to have a hearing."

Murray said his probation was "extended" after he took time off to

visit his mother. His claim with the city notes his request for family

leave for the visit was denied.

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