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Local News

Braidwood police harassment case closed

Nick Ficarello
Nick Ficarello

BRAIDWOOD – Federal investigators have dismissed a harassment complaint against the Braidwood police chief and the city.

Deputy Police Chief Michelle Soucie had filed charges in March with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that Chief Nick Ficarello subjected her to sexual harassment and disability-related comments.

“When (the city) became aware of the sexual harassment, I was subjected to further harassment and suspension,” Soucie wrote in the complaint.

Michelle Soucie has been a Braidwood officer since 1998 and was named deputy chief soon after Ficarello was hired in April 2015.

According to the complaint, the discrimination took place through Jan. 17. According to Ficarello, Soucie was put on paid leave in January after a theft allegation.

“I believe this (complaint) was made in retaliation for the ongoing criminal investigation,” Ficarello said. “As a law enforcement official for almost four decades, I’m disappointed another sworn officer would use such deceitful tactics in an effort for personal enrichment.”

On April 20, the EEOC closed its file on the discrimination case.

“Based upon its investigation, the EEOC is unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violations of the statutes,” District Director Julianne Bowman wrote. “This does not certify that (the city) is in compliance of the statutes”

The dismissal does not mean the EEOC had any findings as to other issues, Bowman noted.

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