Claiming discrimination, former employee sues Aurora
By Stephanie Lulay firstname.lastname@example.org February 10, 2014 5:57PM
Updated: March 12, 2014 6:27AM
AURORA — Following her alleged firing, a former city employee in the Property Standards Department has filed a lawsuit against the City of Aurora.
Patricia Rozsavolgyi, a former maintenance compliance officer for the city, has filed a lawsuit in Kane County Court alleging that she was discriminated against and was constantly harassed by fellow co-workers. Rozsavolgyi had worked for the city since March 1992.
The city allegedly fired her for calling her co-workers “idiots” in July 2012, according to the lawsuit. Fellow employees were not punished or fired for similar offenses, she said.
In the lawsuit, Rozsavolgyi alleges that her co-workers called her discriminatory and degrading names, including: cuckoo, prostitute, loco and “Shutter Island,” an insult which apparently is meant to refer to the 2010 film set in a psychiatric facility.
Co-workers also left nasty notes in her mailbox and spit on her car, according to the suit.
Rozsavolgyi states in the suit that she had a history of panic attacks, depression, anxiety and hearing loss, but those disabilities did not prevent her from performing her job.
Once Rozsavolgyi made city management aware of the hostile work environment, they failed to take action, according to the suit. The city further failed to take her medical conditions into consideration when she requested the department maintain a professional work environment, according to the suit.
The suit further alleges that Rozsavolgyi was told that she would “have to deal with it” by her union representative.
At some point, co-workers made claims to management that Rozsavolgyi was a physical threat, a claim which she states in the suit were false.
Aurora spokesman Dan Ferrelli said the city had not yet been served with the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed Jan. 22.
“The city has not been served with the lawsuit and therefore is unable to comment,” Ferrelli said.
In November 2012, Rozsavolgyi filed a disability discrimination complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. She is seeking loss of employment benefits, emotional distress and other compensation in excess of $50,000, according to the suit.
Because the Illinois Department of Human Rights did not complete an investigation within a year of the complaint filing date, Rozsavolgyi was able to file a civil suit in court.
The suit mentions that Rozsavolgyi reported to Dave Dykstra, then a Neighborhood Program Coordinator, and another city employee. Following a scandal in the city’s Property Standards Department last summer, city officials confirmed in July 2013 that Dykstra no longer worked for the city.
After a complaint from a retired Aurora cop, the city launched an investigation into the mismanagement of a property code violation case that cited one of the Property Standard’s Division’s own employees.
The investigation dealt with the handling of a Property Standards case concerning a West Side rental property owned by city employee Reymundo DeLeon, a quality of life inspector in the city’s Property Standards Division. For about two years, the rental property was routinely inspected, found not to be in compliance with the city’s rules but was never cited for violations.
During the investigation, three city employees were placed on administrative leave.
Reymundo DeLeon is the brother of Rosario DeLeon, who was then Chief Operations Officer, and Rey’s boss’ boss. Under a department restructuring, Rosario DeLeon is now head of the city’s Department of Public Properties.