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Hotshot Harassment

Rapid City, SD: (Dec-06-07) Jessica Chacon, a former member of the Tatanka Hotshot crew, brought a sexual harassment lawsuit against Kevin Lindbergh, a fellow firefighter, and Mike Johanns, the secretary of the US Department of Agriculture. Chacon's original lawsuit was filed in US District Court, and claimed that she was the only woman on the elite 20-person Hotshot firefighting crew during the 2001 summer fire season. She stated that while on training, Lindbergh climbed into her sleeping bag, spooned her, then assaulted and battered her when she woke up and pushed him away. She also said Lindbergh repeatedly made crude and offensive remarks in her presence, improperly touched her and asked for sexual favors. The Tatanka Hotshot crew was also under supervision of the US Forest Service. Chacon's suit also accused supervisors within the US Forest Service, which is part of the US Department of Agriculture, of failing to take disciplinary action against Lindbergh.

Chacon claimed that she had suffered emotional distress and damages in excess of $100,000, partly because of promotions she lost because she disclosed illegal and improper conduct. As part of a settlement reached out-of-court, sources confirmed that the suit was resolved with an undisclosed payout. [RAPIC CITY JOURNAL: HOTSHOT HARASSMENT]


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Published on Dec-7-07


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