City hires legal defense team; depositions taken

Wellness Center issues coming to the forefront

By Josh Resnek

The city has hired the high priced Boston law firmNixon Peabody to defend itself against allegations made about sexual harassment and bullying by a former member of the Wellness Center staff implicating her superiors in an action coming before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Last week, at least four to five employees at theWellness Center were deposed by Nixon Peabody lawyers, according to a source who wished to remain unnamed.

Those deposed included a number of employees at the Wellness Center, including its new director, and most likely, its former director and several others apparently named in the MCAD complaint filed by the former employee.

The former employee, an Everett young woman, claims she was sexually harassed and constantly bullied during her tenure at the Wellness Center.

A family member of the young woman claims she was intimidated, bullied and psychologically hurt by her employment experience at the Wellness Center -and despite her prior efforts to report the difficulties she faced to officials at city hall, she alleges her claims were met with a blind eye.

Former Wellness Center Director Karen Avila was forced to resign two months ago when it was learned she had made false claims on her resume about her education and professional affiliations.

Efforts to reach the mayor for a comment failed.He did not return our calls.

Leave a Reply