Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-02-15
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Jesse Jackson case: Investigation goes on, offer rejected
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2012-07-02

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


There have been developments in the case of Tommy Bennett, a gay former Rainbow PUSH employee who filed a discrimination complaint and, later, a lawsuit against the organization and its leader, the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

In the initial complaint, filed with the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR), Bennett claimed that he experienced sexual orientation-based discrimination almost immediately after he started the job in 2007, saying that a now-former membership and volunteer coordinator, complained to Jackson that she did not wish to work with Bennett because he is gay. Bennett also claimed that Jackson cursed at him in front of other staff members and even alleged that Jackson wanted Bennett to perform oral sex on him. (The latter event allegedly happened after Bennett became Jackson's travel assistant.)

The lawsuit, among other things, claims that Bennett's superiors ignored his complaints and that he was eventually let go because of his sexual orientation.

Bennett's attorney, Thomas Leverso, told Windy City Times that rumors that the case had been settled are far from true—but did say his client received an offer. "In terms of disclosure about the amount of money, I can't tell you the figure," he said. "However, I can tell you that it was so far below any of our demands that it was insulting. As to the process, the case is alive and well in Cook County [regarding] the IDHR [Illinois Department of Human Rights] claims. As for [CCHR], they haven't communicated anything except that they're moving forward with the investigation."

Regarding the court case, Leverso said, "We're headed to a judgment quite soon because they're not even showing up to court." He added that CCHR can "make a finding and issue a monetary amount or [issue] injunctive relief, just like a court can." However, he also said that IDHR chose not to investigate. ("I suspect they're backlogged a little bit," he said.)

Bennett is seeking at least $98,300 in lost income and benefits and $350,000 for emotional distress and other damages.

Meanwhile, Candice Brown—another former PUSH employee—has filed three IDHR cases against Rainbow PUSH, Marshette Turner (with PUSH's Trade Bureau) and Chief of Staff John Mitchell, and one CCHR case against all the defendants together. Among other things, Brown alleges harassment.

At one point in the supplement to the complaints, Brown stated "how any time an employee 'was not liked' by the Rainbow PUSH any longer, she was to terminate the employee and draft a letter" that cited "either 'economic downturn' or 'lack of funding' as the reason for the termination, despite funding either remaining constant or increasing during the times of the terminations." She also said she "drafted one such letter to a Mr. Tommy Bennett, stating inter alia lack of funding as [the] reason for layoff."

In a statement to Windy City Times, Leverso (who also represents Brown) said, "Knowing all of the potential repercussions, Ms. Brown would not have filed her claims against Rainbow PUSH and certain officers and employees if she was not interested in bringing justice to the situation.

"Ms. Brown has no doubt that a thorough investigation will substantiate her allegations and has the utmost faith in the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, their respective investigators, and the process. At this point, Rainbow PUSH can either dig in its heels or stand on the side of civil rights and equal justice for all human beings by working with Ms. Brown and with the women's community."

Attempts to reach out to Rainbow PUSH were not returned.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Attorney: Legal loss validates church-based conversion therapy 2017-02-17 - A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Feb. 16 that challenged whether the Illinois law prohibiting so-called conversion therapy on minors applied to pastors. ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal, EEOC win settlement for healthcare worker fired for being HIV+ 2017-02-09 - ( Austin, TX, February 9, 2017 ) — Yesterday, a federal judge in Texas approved a settlement secured by Lambda Legal and the ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal secures settlement for HIV+ flight paramedic 2017-02-03 - ( St. Louis, MO, February 2, 2017 ) Today, Lambda Legal resolved a federal discrimination lawsuit involving Air Evac Lifeteam, and its employee ...


Gay News

Top DOJ Lawyer Joins Lambda Legal 2017-02-03 - ( New York, February 2, 2017 ) — Today, Lambda Legal announced the hiring of Sharon McGowan, a top attorney in the Civil ...


Gay News

Activists, legal experts prepare after Trump anti-LGBT leak 2017-02-02 - The leak of a proposed executive order from President Donald Trump giving legal protections to individuals, businesses and organizations—including federal employees—accused of anti-LGBT ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal: Trump's war on immigrants un-American 2017-01-25 - ( New York, January 25, 2017 ) — Following the announcement of President Trump's executive orders targeting immigrants and sanctuary cities, Lambda Legal ...


Gay News

ACLU announces first legal action on Trump conflicts of interest 2017-01-20 - NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union has taken legal action seeking documents on conflicts of interest and violations of the Constitution ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal appeals case of lesbian harassed in senior housing facility 2017-01-18 - Lambda Legal announced today that it will appeal its case on behalf of Marsha Wetzel, a lesbian woman harassed at her senior housing ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal: Price would endanger health of LGBTs, people living with HIV 2017-01-18 - New York — As congressional hearings begin on Tom Price's nomination to become Secretary for Health and Human Services, Rachel B. Tiven, CEO ...


Gay News

No Human is Illegal, Take These Precautions Now 2017-01-18 - How can LGBTQ people with immigrant status protect themselves in the current political Climate? At the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance ( ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.