A Memo to Anyone – T or LGB – Who Has Recently Filed a Complaint With the Iowa Civil Rights Commission

Specifically, if you’ve filed a state civil rihgts complaint based on sexual orientation or gender identity and the complaint was rejected, contact an attorney immediately and seek to have the investigation re-opened based on…

Three Iowa civil rights investigators have been fired after sending hundreds of gossipy emails calling co-workers derogatory nicknames like “Psycho,” “Monster,” and “Roid Rage,” and forwarding pictures that made fun of fat people, Wal-Mart customers and others, according to public records and interviews.

Who were some of the “others”?

“While employed by an agency whose purpose is to confront, remedy and eliminate discrimination, Ms. [Michele] Howard engaged in a remarkably broad, persistent campaign of discrimination and otherwise offensive conduct through her abuse of the employer’s electronic communication system,” Administrative Law Judge James Timberland wrote Aug. 15. “What is even more remarkable is Ms. Howard’s effort to minimize, or excuse away, the discrimination and offensive conduct she directed at various individuals and groups.”

Timberland said Howard traded and received emails “that made fun of and/or ridiculed obese people, gay, transgendered and/or transvestite people, elderly people, Walmart customers, African-American men, white high school students, white men, and white people generally.”


Wal-Mart customers?


I wonder if any of the e-mails sent around included links to the Sandeenista’s legendary Pam’s House Blah post “Ode to the People of Walmart”?

But I digress…

In all seriousness, if you have had an ICHR complaint rejected recently (and I’m not sure how far back “recently” goes; the Mason City Globe-Gazette news item indicated that the investigation which led to these firings began after Gov. Terry Branstad took back over in January and the item mentioned groups of e-mails monitored from March to June, but I have trouble believing that the attitudes involved weren’t in play long before that), take appropriate legal action to ensure that your complaint wasn’t being handled by someone who was even more anti-LGBT than who/whatever you might have filed the complaint against.  The people involved with this insanity were not the ICHR’s only investigators, so even if you get your case re-examined its possible that Howard and the others might not have had a hand in its outcome and the rejection might have been valid (I know many of you don’t like to hear this, but not anti-discrimination complaint actually is valid), but you have to be suspicious wherever there is this sort of taint (kinda like what you would have to suspect if yoru gender identity-centered complaint was rejected and you learned that the investigator was involved with the radfemshlub.)

From the time the Commission receives the complaint to the time the investigation is completed and a finding by the administrative law judge has been made, the Commission is a neutral fact-finder and represents neither party.

Does it matter if you’re not literally representing a defendant employer/landlord if you clearly are biased against the sort of people who might be filing the complaint?  (Refer back to my comment about the radfemshlub.)  That doesn’t sound “neutral” to me.

What’s truly disturbing is that the dateline of the story is Iowa City, suggesting that the fired investigators were either based there – ostensibly the most liberal city in Iowa – or dealt with complaints in that part of the state.  if that’s the case, one can only imagine what’s going on up in Steve King land.

One Response to A Memo to Anyone – T or LGB – Who Has Recently Filed a Complaint With the Iowa Civil Rights Commission

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