Resolution Reached In Firefighter's Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
April 15, 2019
A resolution has been reached in a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fenton Township and its fire chief.
The complaint, which was filed last July in Genesee County Circuit Court on behalf of Firefighter Kristy Polidan and Captain Kirk Stephens, alleged Polidan had been subjected to sexual harassment, including by Chief Ryan Volz, since she was hired in January 2015. It further alleged she been retaliated against after she complained Stephens, who subsequently suspended two firefighters for harassment. The complaint also alleged Captain Stephens was subsequently subjected to retaliation for supporting Polidan in her complaint. Chief Volz maintained his innocence and asserted he was falsely accused.
A trial had been set for December 10th, but court records show that a dismissal order was signed by the judge on March 1st and the case was closed. Julie Gafkay, the attorney representing Polidan, would not confirm whether or not a financial settlement was reached, but would only tell WHMI that the lawsuit had been “resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.” Repeated attempts for comment from the township were unsuccessful.
Volz was initially placed on a paid suspension by the Fenton Township board after the allegations came to light, but was then placed on unpaid suspension from August 13th through October 1st. He was also ordered complete sexual harassment and diversity training and transition to an at-will contract. (JK)