News

Case closed on racism claim

By ERICA HALL

The Mirror

Federal Way officials have finished their investigation into allegations by a city parks employee who said he was subjected to a racially insensitive environment, and a federal agency has closed its case, but officials involved in the matter declined to give any details of the outcome.

While city officials won’t confirm if Federal Way reached a settlement with the complainant, city attorney Pat Richardson issued a statement Thursday outlining steps the city has taken since receiving a notice in May 2005 of a charge of discrimination filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in April by Markeith Blackshire, a parks maintenance employee.

Officials said the matter has been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

Three top parks employees resigned between June and August last year, but city officials wouldn’t confirm at the time if the resignations were the result of the EEOC complaint.

In his complaint, Blackshire said he was the victim of “racist jokes, innuendoes, slurs, stereotypes and derogatory comments” from other employees and his supervisors. He said he complained to his supervisor, Stan Osborn, and to parks maintenance superintendent Kurt Reuter, but as of the date of the complaint, “no corrective actions, apologies or reinforcement of the racial harassment policies has been provided to me or any other staff.”

Blackshire claimed the insensitivity had been going on “since my date of hire.

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