Moline fireman files suit, claims he was target of city investigation after wife was sexually harassed
MOLINE — A Moline firefighter is suing several city aldermen and two fellow firemen for pursuing what he calls a “retaliatory” investigation over alleged time card fraud, claiming he became a target when he stuck up for his wife who was sexually harassed on the job.
Todd Allen filed the lawsuit in federal court on Monday, February 27.
He says he was the subject of an ongoing investigation announced by the Moline City Council late last year. Up until now, he had not been identified publicly.
Allen says the city looked into allegations of “timekeeping irregularities” at the Fire Department.
He says the probe cleared him of any wrongdoing, but found that the department’s time card system was “flawed”: and needs to be changed.
Allen alleges he was targeted for a couple of reasons.
He says his paramedic/firefighter wife Heather was subjected to repeated sexual harassment on the job, “on a continuing and ongoing basis, including but not limited to ‘subjecting her to pornographic material, whereas male employees were watching pornography in the fire station on City time.'”
He says his wife was sent two postcards from male employees stating” “Go F— Yourself” and the other “Ditto”, and claims the firefighter union refused to represent her as part of the “discrimination and retaliation.”
He claims when he supported her complaints, he became a target.
Allen names Fire Dept. Engineer Chief Scott Houzenga, Battalion Chief Kevin Irby, the City of Moline, and Aldermen Stephanie Acri, John Zelnio, Mike Wendt, and David Parker.
Allen also alleges he has been harassed by some on the council for not supporting Acri in her run for mayor.
He says he has suffered “great mental anguish, humiliation, degradation, physical and emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, lost wages and benefits, future pecuniary losses, and other consequential damages.”
He is asking for monetary compensation and changes in the city’s policies and practices.
The council met last night in a closed door session about the Allen investigation, but declined to release any information.
The city posted the following item on its official website in response to the suit on Feb. 28: