Originally published March 17
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - An OB-GYN doctor is speaking out for the first time after she reported an allegation of sexual assault by one of her male colleagues and was later fired.
Dr. Kellie Stecher claims sexual discrimination, defamation, and wrongful termination while employed at M-Health Fairview.
"The patient was unknown to me before this moment and she confided in me this allegation," said Stecher.
She says she contacted her supervisor immediately.
"Her supervisor specifically told her 'do not file a report with the Minnesota Medical Board' and that is in direct violation of her duty as a doctor," said Attorney James Bryant.
Bryant says Stecher consulted with mentors who told her to report the allegation to the medical board, and she did. Her supervisors assured her patient care is the first priority.
"They has assured me that they would reach out to the patient and create next steps for her, which is something I communicated with the patient. At that time they decided not to follow up with the patient and when she represented to me she felt like she was not heard like she wasn't believed," said Stecher.
Stecher says that's when the retaliation began.
"And when her supervisor was finally told 'you need to apologize to Dr. Stecher,' instead of apologizing this individual chastised her again and said 'why would you report this'," Bryant said.
Stecher was fired when her contract expired.
The allegations have the attention of the Attorney General's office.
"I received a letter from the Attorney General's office stating that they wanted to talk to me to do some sort of testimony on what I was told," said Stecher.
"We have reason to believe that Dr. Stecher's story is not the only story like this," said Attorney Reganel J. Reeves.
In a statement, M-Health Fairview said, "while Fairview is not aware of any lawsuit filed by Dr. Stecher, we do not comment on pending or threatened litigation. However, Fairview is committed to maintaining a safe and respectful environment for patients and employees that is free from discrimination or retaliation."
Fairview said it encourages and supports people to report any concerns so it can investigate and take prompt action.
Dr. Stecher's attorneys believe there may be more people out there who may have experienced problems with their care.
A website has been set up for people to report allegations of misconduct.
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