Section: CAPITAL REGION Page: B6 Date: Saturday, January 31, 1998
STATE AGENCY REJECTS HARASSMENT CLAIMBECHETTA JACKSON Staff writer
Cohoes The state Division of Human Rights has ruled that there is ``no probable cause'' to prove a complaint by a former clerk in the city comptroller's office who quit because she said she was harassed by the comptroller.
Franny Fazioli, 44, of Remsen Street, filed the complaint in September, six weeks after resigning from the job she held for approximately five months. In the complaint, she alleged that City Comptroller Steven Niedbalec repeatedly asked her personal questions about the men in her life. The ruling by the state agency noted that there were ``personality conflicts'' between Fazioli, Niedbalec, and other people in the comptroller's office that resulted in her being unhappy at work. The agency also said that the investigation revealed no instances in which Fazioli was treated differently because of her gender. In addition, the ruling said there was no evidence to indicate that any questions were asked of her, or any actions taken, that would violate the Human Rights Law. Barbara Klar, a spokeswoman for the agency, said Fazioli has 60 days to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.
Fazioli's attorney, Randall E. Kehoe said a decision has not been made. ``It should be known that we were not allowed to call witnesses,'' he said. ``We could only submit affidavits.'' He added: ``An affidavit doesn't speak as loudly or as clearly as a live witness.'' Niedbalec was pleased with the decision. ``I was confident that I would be vindicated because there was no merit to these charges,'' he said. ``I'm happy that it's over but it's a rotten thing to have to go through.'' Fazioli also sought unemployment benefits, but the state Department of Labor denied the request, saying she left her job without good cause.