Male Minneapolis firefighter files discrimination lawsuit against lesbian fire chief

Sunday, November 12th 2006, 5:31 pm
By: News On 6

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) A male firefighter is the latest person to sue the Minneapolis fire chief, who is lesbian, claiming that she discriminated against him because he is a heterosexual man.

Elondo Wright alleges that Bonnie Bleskachek, the city's first female fire chief, and her partner, a fire department captain, gave him bad reviews, harassed him and denied him advancement opportunities.

Bleskachek ``adamantly'' denied the allegations. She told The Associated Press on Sunday the claims are based on rumors.

``I find it troubling,'' she said. ``This is all based on hurt feelings and conjecture.''

Wright's lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, is the fourth against the chief this year, alleging various acts of discrimination or harassment. The lawsuits, two of which have been settled, depict a woman who let her personal life interfere with work decisions.

Wright had filed a complaint with the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, and probable cause was found. But a settlement with the city wasn't reached so he sued.

Bleskachek said she wants a resolution, but also wants the facts to come out.

``I just want this all to be over. I just want to be free,'' she said.