Gay firefighter sues former employers for firing him


Retired gay firefighter Scott Phillips-Gartner is suing the city of Norfolk, claiming he was dismissed after his bosses found out that he was married to a man. The 55-year-old man first started working for the city of Norfolk in 1991 as a 911 operator. He then joined the firefighters the following year and eventually became an assistant fire marshal in 2013. A year later he tied the knot to his boyfriend. Battalion Chief Roger Burris changed the attitude to Phillips-Gartner when he found out about it and started to abuse him. The gay firefighter reported his superior’s behavior to Fire Chief Jeffrey F. Wise but, the lawsuit claims, he too began belittling Phillips-Gartner in front of the team. According to the court documents, Phillips-Gartner then reported the harassment to the then-city auditor John Sanderlin, but no action was taken. Wise told Phillips-Gartner in November 2017 he wanted to fire him and the gay firefighter eventually put in for retirement in December that year, albeit reluctantly.The city authorities would not comment on personal cases.


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