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updated: 6/9/2014 2:44 PM

Former Bloomingdale employee suing for harassment, discrimination

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A former Bloomingdale employee is seeking more than $50,000 from the village in a lawsuit that claims he "felt compelled to resign" because he faced discrimination and retaliation.

David Meimers, who served as assistant finance director for the village from January 2008 to May 2012, filed the lawsuit in DuPage County.

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According to the suit, Meimers, who is openly homosexual and HIV positive, began to experience the alleged discrimination in the spring of 2012 when he complained about cutbacks to his health care benefits that would cause a "severe financial burden on disabled employees" and requested a "reasonable and safe work environment."

"Thereafter, certain co-workers, supervisors and/or administrators of (Meimers) began to engage in routine and intentional hostile and offensive patterns to harass, discriminate, embarrass, annoy and agitate (Meimers)," the suit states. "This was done to cause him emotional distress and to force him to either refuse to work or resign."

Meimers, under "considerable mental and emotional stress," ultimately resigned from the village on May 12, 2012. He asked to get his job back a short time later, but the suit alleges the village already had replaced him "with a married man and believed to be neither homosexual, disabled, nor protected under the American With Disabilities Act."

Greg James, the attorney representing the village for the lawsuit, said Meimers recently filed an "almost identical complaint" with the Illinois Department of Human Rights, which ultimately ruled in favor of the village. As for the legal proceedings, James said the village will file an answer to the suit on Monday in DuPage County.

"The village of Bloomingdale denies it ever violated any laws or discriminated against Mr. Meimers or anyone else," James said. "Our response next week will deny all allegations and state our intent to vigorously defend this lawsuit."

Meimers' attorney, Brian Erwin, did not return calls Friday or Monday but the suit states Meimers is seeking more than $50,000 to compensate him for injuries and damages and additional compensation for attorney's fees and court costs.

Bloomingdale Village President Franco Coladipietro declined to comment on the suit Monday. Meimers was no longer an employee when Coladipietro took office in 2013.

Former Village President Bob Iden, who served from 1993 through April of 2013, said he always had a cordial relationship with Meimers and never learned of any harassment of discrimination claims until after Meimers resigned in May of 2012.

"My dealings with the finance department were always with Fiance Director Gary Szott, so I didn't have a working relationship with David," Iden said. "But I find the entire circumstances of his resignation and wanting his job back and then waiting so long to file a lawsuit to be very strange."

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