Mayor Charlie Pierce speaks at a Kenai Peninsula Borough meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2018. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Mayor Charlie Pierce speaks at a Kenai Peninsula Borough meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2018. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Discrimination lawsuit filed against borough, Mayor Pierce

  • By Brian Mazurek Peninsula Clarion
  • Thursday, January 24, 2019 10:48pm
  • News

The former human resources director for the Kenai Peninsula Borough filed a discrimination lawsuit against the borough and Mayor Charlie Pierce on Monday, according to documents filed with the Kenai court.

Sandra Brown alleged that she experienced disability discrimination by Pierce following her diagnosis with terminal breast cancer. According to the lawsuit, Brown received her diagnosis on May 24, 2018 and notified Pierce on June 13, 2018, after being approved for intermittent medical leave.

In the court documents, Brown alleges that Pierce’s response to the news about her diagnosis included inappropriate comments that implied her diagnosis was “not a big deal.”

Brown also claims that in the months after notifying Pierce and the borough about her diagnosis, Pierce excluded her from meetings pertaining to her job, publicly humiliated her, and rescheduled her performance evaluation on dates when Brown had approved medical leave, according to court documents.

In court documents, Brown said that the discrimination culminated in a meeting with Pierce’s chief of staff on Sept. 28, 2018, and that she had been lied to about the purpose of the meeting. After arriving, Brown alleges, the chief of staff and the borough attorney told her that the meeting had actually been called at the direction of the mayor — who had ordered them meet and notify Brown that she was terminated, effective immediately.

Brown was the director of human resources for the borough from 2012 to 2018, and Pierce was elected as borough mayor in November of 2017.

The mayor’s office did not respond to requests for comments on the lawsuit.


• By BRIAN MAZUREK, Peninsula Clarion


More in News

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander sits inside Kenai City Hall on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Ostrander to leave City of Kenai in January

Ostrander has served as the city manager since 2017

Melanie Hardin, right, greets the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.’s Board of Trustees before her interview for the APFC’s executive director’s job Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in Juneau, (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Permanent Fund board picks new executive director

Trustees work overtime selecting from three candidates after interviews Monday

A sign welcoming visitors to the Literary Haunted House at the Kenai Community Library can be seen here on Oct. 30, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
A sign welcoming visitors to the Literary Haunted House at the Kenai Community Library can be seen here on Oct. 30, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)
Libraries host haunted houses, scary storytimes, seasonal crafts

It’s all about Halloween at Kenai and Soldotna libraries

Kenai Fire Marshal Jeremy Hamilton is seen by one of Kenai Fire Department’s Tower trucks on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Kenai Fire Department in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Get up, get out and get safe’

Kids taught about fire safety as part of prevention effort

Bob Bird, left, chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party, and former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman make the case in favor of a state constitutional convention during a debate in Anchorage broadcast Thursday by Alaska Public Media. (Screenshot from Alaska Public Media’s YouTube channel)
Constitutional convention debate gets heated

Abortion, PFD factor into forum.

Carol Freas (right) helps a voter fill out absentee election materials in Kenai City Hall ahead of the Oct. 4 municipal election on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Absentee voting already underway

Absentee in-person voting has been made available across the borough

Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
What’s on the ballot: Reapportionment, new field house, school bond

Voters will decide on ballot measures that address schools, public safety and legislative bodies

Cars line up ahead of dismissal at Mountain View Elementary School on Thursday, September 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. A bond package up for consideration by Kenai Peninsula Borough voters on Oct. 4 would fund improvements to the school’s traffic flow. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Parking lot problems

Lack of space for pickup and drop-offs creates traffic jam at elementary school

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson points out elements of the school building on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Aging school on the brink

Renovations are cost prohibitive at Soldotna Elementary

Most Read