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Gainesville City Manager under investigation after “retaliation” against employee

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 12:51 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The Gainesville City Manager is under investigation.

Commissioners will meet to review the results of three equal-opportunity investigations, two are gender discrimination cases and the other includes a retaliation case.

In January 2020, Diane Wilson, who is a City of Gainesville employee, filed a formal complaint of gender discrimination against City Manager Lee Feldman. This complaint alleged she was treated differently than a male co-worker concerning placement after she served as the interim financial director.

An investigation report prepared by Shuffield, Lowman & Wilson, P.A., a law firm in Orlando, found no cause to believe Feldman discriminated against Wilson based on gender.

In May, Wilson filed another complaint and argued she was retaliated against for filing the first complaint. She alleged she was denied a promotion to become finance director as retaliation for filing the gender discrimination complaint.

The independent investigation report by Shuffield, Lowman & Wilson, P.A. for this complaint ended with a recommendation that Feldman be fired by the city.

Another city employee also submitted a complaint against Feldman. According to the complaint, she was being kept out of the loop on changes in her department, “while male subordinates have been involved in these decisions and plans.” She also says she was asked to do things that were unethical or illegal, while she felt “belittled during meetings.”

An investigation report prepared by the law firm determined there was no cause to believe Feldman discriminated against her based upon gender or that a violation of city policy or applicable law occurred.

The commission will meet on Tuesday at 5 p.m. to discuss these findings.

Feldman became the City Manager in November 2019.

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