Las Vegas firefighter sues employer over handling of sex video

Updated March 7, 2019 - 8:37 am

A Las Vegas firefighter filed a sexual harassment lawsuit this week that alleges supervisors lacked concern for her reputation after co-workers circulated a sexually explicit video of her without her knowledge.

The woman, identified in the federal lawsuit as Jane Doe, sued only after exhausting all other avenues, according to the document.

“This devastated her,” Jenny Foley, the woman’s attorney, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Wednesday. “These are folks that she trusted, folks that literally go into life-and-death situations together.”

The woman first went to Las Vegas Fire Department supervisors, and she alleges in the lawsuit that one of them told her, “You have to realize guys are perverts and you’re a hot chick, and if there’s a naked video they’re going to want to watch it.”

Next, as the Review-Journal previously reported, she filed a complaint with human resources. But that, too, fell flat, according to the lawsuit.

In October, she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination. On Tuesday, the agency issued the woman a notice of her right to sue. So she did.

According to the lawsuit, the video in question was recorded while the woman was dating Nathan Hannig, a Henderson firefighter named as a defendant with the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson and 10 other firefighters.

Sometime after the woman broke up with Hannig, the video was sent to a Las Vegas firefighter, according to the complaint, which alleges that the video started making the rounds in June during a Las Vegas Fire Department training event.

David Riggleman, a spokesman with the city of Las Vegas, declined to comment Wednesday, noting in an email that the city has a “long-standing practice of not commenting on pending litigation.”

Javier Trujillo, a Henderson spokesman, said the city was aware of the complaint but had not been served.

“The city strongly denies any wrongdoing relative to the allegations in the complaint and will vigorously defend its position in court,” Trujillo said in an email.

The lawsuit, which also alleges workplace retaliation, mentions an instance in August when the woman discovered that the sunroof of her car had been shot out while she was wrapping up a shift at a Las Vegas fire station.

The city marshal’s office responded and deduced that someone nearby had fired a stray round into the air and that it happened to land in her car.

“My client is obviously skeptical about the conclusion,” Foley said. “If that’s a coincidence, it’s the mother of all coincidences.”

The department, known as Las Vegas Fire &Rescue, placed the woman on unpaid leave in August.

“Due to LVFR’s failure to act, the video was widely circulated, and viewed and discussed by LVFR employees while on duty and while on LVFR property,” the lawsuit alleges. “It was soon common knowledge around LVFR that there was a sex video.”

It goes on to assert that the department “bungled the investigation, delayed the investigation unnecessarily and generally tried to sweep the incident under the rug, subjecting plaintiff to continued sexual harassment, and trauma.”

Foley said the entire situation was disturbing, but she noted that her client is “prepared to move forward.”

“She is eager to have her day in court,” Foley said.

Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3801. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writers Shea Johnson and Blake Apgar contributed to this story.

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