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Former Kane probation  officer sues court circuit

Updated: October 24, 2012 6:25AM

A former Kane County probation officer has filed suit against the 16th Judicial Circuit, claiming he was passed over for a transfer because of his race, and then fired because of discrimination complaints he filed. The 16th Judicial Circuit covers Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties.

According to the suit filed earlier this month in federal court, John Bradley, 61, of Elgin, was hired as an adult and juvenile probation officer to work out of Kane County’s Elgin office. In September 2010, Bradley applied for a transfer to a similar position as an adult administrator in St. Charles. Bradley, who is black, claims he was passed over for the transfer in favor or a younger employee who is white and had four fewer years of experience.

Bradley filed complaints with the Illinois Department of Human Rights and a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Bradley claims shortly after that suit was filed, he began to receive multiple persistent performance evaluations from two white supervisors.

At his next formal review, Bradley got his lowest score and was accused of making errors he says he did not commit, the lawsuit says. Other white officers were allowed to transfer, but Bradley’s negative reviews prevented him from making the move, the suit says.

Bradley said his increased workload at the probation office led to nerve damage in his right elbow. According to the suit, a neurologist linked the condition to his work and the desk he sat at. Bradley had surgery and returned to work briefly, but left for medical leave due to complications from the surgery.

He was on medical leave when he was fired in June 2012. Bradley claims this was in retaliation for his previous claims against the judicial circuit.

Lisa Aust, executive director of court services with the 16th Circuit, declined to comment on pending litigation. The case is scheduled to be in court in October.

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