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Supreme Court reverses wrongful termination dismissal

Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Alaska Supreme Court has reinstated a wrongful termination lawsuit of a man who claimed he was formed to quit his job at the Interior Regional Housing Authority.

Ted Charles, the former tribal planning director, sued in October 1999. He claimed he was forced to quit because of harassment from other agency leaders.

The agency finds housing for low-income Natives.

Charles said the harassment included threats and criticism from another employee. He said the agency reduced his responsibility, reassigned his authority to another employee, excluded him from meetings, and fired his relatives, including his daughter, son-in-law and relatives of his estranged wife.

A Superior Court judge ruled that the IRHA employee whom Charles claimed performed most of the harassment did not have supervisory power over him and that Charles did not report the harassment to his supervisors.

But Supreme Court justices Friday ruled ''the evidence could lead a reasonable juror to conclude that the housing authority's executive director ... directly participated in a campaign of harassment against Charles, or at least knew about it and allowed it to continue.''

The unanimous decision orders reconsideration of Charles' lawsuit and drops an order for Charles to pay IHRA attorney fees.



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