Outside firm to investigate Evanston’s response to harassment allegations

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Daily archive photo by Maia Spoto

The edge of Lake Evanston at sunset. On Monday, the city announced plans to bring in an outside company to investigate the city’s handling of allegations of sexual harassment among seaside staff.

Evanston will engage an outside firm to conduct an impartial investigation into the treatment of allegations of sexual harassment among waterfront workers, the city said on Monday.

The announcement comes days after WBEZ released an investigative report, which found that more than 50 city workers signed a petition last summer alleging a culture of widespread sexual harassment by other frontline workers. sea. On Saturday, city council held an emergency meeting to consider the allegations. According to Ald. Cicely Fleming (9th), the elected officials were “never” warned of the allegations.

The petition called on the city to tackle the issue in depth, including issuing a public apology to the victims and sacking two male employees.

Before appointing the external investigator, the city set up immediate sexual harassment training, fired one of the two men named in the petition, and appointed a city employee to serve as the staff complaints liaison at the edge of the lake. According to WBEZ, the second man resigned on Friday.

The decision to enlist an external investigator follows calls from some community members, including the Community Alliance for Better Government, a local government accountability group. The city said updates on the investigation and its results would be forthcoming.

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @jacobnfulton

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