Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

City Hall Journal

BELL GARDENS : Ex-City Clerk Files Suit Alleging Discrimination

March 17, 1994|MARY HELEN BERG

Former City Clerk Martha Ochoa has filed a lawsuit against the city and Mayor Frank Duran alleging sex, race and age discrimination.

Ochoa served as clerk from April, 1992, until she was dismissed from the $48,000-a-year position by the City Council in May. She received three months severance pay.

Ochoa was the second city clerk to be fired in 13 months, and one of several top administrators to lose their jobs during the tumultuous months after the historic 1991 recall of four City Council members and subsequent election of recall movement leaders.

The complaint filed March 3 in Superior Court states that Duran fostered "demoralizing and derogatory treatment of women and people of color" at City Hall and that he verbally abused and intimidated female and minority employees. The complaint further alleges that Ochoa was fired after refusing to perform an unspecified "task which was illegal and unethical."

Ochoa was dismissed because her work was "not up to par. The charges have no merit," Duran said. "I've never been anything other than respectful to the lady. . . . I never said anything to the lady that would cause her to do anything but a better job."

City Atty. Michael Estrada would not comment on the pending litigation, but City Manager Charles Gomez called Ochoa's charges bizarre. He pointed out that Ochoa, a Mexican American, is charging Duran, who is also Latino, with racism.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|