Fired Cincinnati FBI supervisor sues for sex discrimination after she complained co-workers slept on job
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A former supervisor at the FBI’s Cincinnati field office filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday alleging sexual discrimination and retaliation after she complained some of the male employees on her team slept on the job, lied about their work and drove FBI cars after drinking alcohol, court records show.
Jennifer Boughton was a civilian employee (not an agent with a badge or gun) who began working for the FBI in October 2003 and was promoted to Supervisory Investigative Specialist, in December 2008, the suit states.
Boughton spent most of her time overseeing a mobile surveillance team. She received no discipline and had no performance issues between 2008 and 2014, according to the lawsuit.
She also was rated “Outstanding” in an October 2014 annual job performance review.
A month later, Boughton reported to her supervisor feelings of isolation as the only woman on the team, the suit states: “She disclosed how difficult it was to have male reports who were not accustomed to having a female supervisor.”
She reported some of the male employees on her team were sleeping on duty, not securing covert materials, making false claims about the work they had done, misusing bureau cars, driving a bureau car while under the influence of alcohol, and refusing to follow job duties, her suit alleges.
Over the next several months, she continued to have several issues with one in particular, including instances that she perceived as threatening and insubordinate, and then learned he had filed an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint against her, according to her suit.
She alleges her supervisor denied all of her requests for her squad administrative assistant be allowed to assist with billing and covert administrative duties.
In May 2015, the FBI reassigned Boughton to special projects, which reduced her pay and revoked her car privileges and then her supervisors excluded her from an award commending a successful counterterrorism operation, her lawsuit states.
She was reassigned again, denied requests to attend a conference and training and recommended for dismissal Feb. 2, 2016. Her clearance was suspended, lost her clearance and was escorted from the office, according to the lawsuit.
Her suit was filed by Elizabeth Asbury Newman and Jon Allison of the Freking Myers & Reul law firm Downtown.
It names U.S. Attorney William Barr and seeks reinstatement to her job, all lost pay and benefits, attorneys fees and costs and compensatory and punitive damages.
The Cincinnati Office of the FBI and U.S. Attorney Office for the Southern District of Ohio referred us to the Department of Justice in Washington, which declined comment.
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