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Cook County Sheriff's Deputy Says Colleagues Harassed Him Because He's Gay

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Cook County Sheriff's deputy has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against his employer, claiming that supervisors have done nothing to stop his co-workers from making his life miserable because he is gay.

As WBBM Newsradio's Bob Conway reports, the lawsuit was filed by Sheriff's Deputy David Nardi, who claims some officers and a supervising sergeant have continually harassed him for being gay since he started working at the sheriff's office in 1999.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Bob Conway reports


Nardi claims that some co-workers would make lewd noises when he walked into the room or cat-call him using anti-gay references -- sometimes in front of jail inmates "in order to put his safety and well being at risk," according to the suit.

Nardi also says other deputies have refused to assist him in his duties because of his sexual orientation.

One sergeant allegedly "continually tormented" Nardi using a sign reading "I am gay," the suit claims. And during an October 2010 roll call meeting, other deputies began singing about "having a gay old time" when he walked into the room.

Nardi filed a sexual harassment complaint at work, but a supervisor – whom he claims participated in the alleged harassment – refused to forward it to the Office of Professional Responsibility for investigation, the suit alleges.

After Nardi filed a discrimination charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights, he was unfairly disciplined and transferred to inferior assignments, the lawsuit claims claims. The department has since found substantial evidence to support his allegations, the suit said.

Speaking to the Sun-Times Media Wire, a representative of the sheriff's office had no immediate comment on the suit Monday night.

Monday's two-count lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, claims sexual harassment and retaliation. It seeks an unspecified amount in damages, as well as an injunction barring the alleged discrimination.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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