Phoenix fire official sues city over sexy pasta - FOX 35 News Orlando

Phoenix fire official sues city over sexy pasta

Updated:
PHOENIX -

A Phoenix fire deputy chief has sued the city for sexual harassment after he says he was demoted for complaining about a prank involving genitalia-shaped pasta.

This story is getting national attention because to some, it seems like a silly thing to sue over. But this firefighter has been on the force for 34 years and says it's no laughing matter.

Frank Cheatham alleges in the lawsuit served against the city this week that the fire department has a pattern of retaliating against employees who complain of workplace discrimination.

Cheatham alleges that he first complained of sexually offensive conduct in 2009 after someone displayed drawings of genitalia at a fire station.

Cheatham's suit says he was then told not to eat with the other firefighters. He soon was sent interoffice mail containing two small pieces of pasta resembling genitalia. Cheatham says someone wrote his name on the pasta.

The lawsuit claims Cheatham complained again, and was told shortly after the department decided to remove him from his position as deputy chief shift commander and transfer him to the "safety division" -- a move Cheatham considered a demotion.

Cheatham calls it a retaliation for complaining about discrimination in the workplace. Cheatham is asking for a jury trial, and is seeking an unspecified amount of money in damages.

A spokeswoman Friday said city officials are reviewing the lawsuit.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

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