Former Pittsburgh Public School safety chief files lawsuit against district

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Former Pittsburgh Public School District safety chief Robert Fadzen filed a federal lawsuit against the district today, alleging discrimination against him because of his age and disability.

Mr. Fadzen is alleging violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Civil Rights acts of 1964 and 1991, and has requested a jury trial, reinstatement to his previous position or a comparable position, and compensation for lost wages, commissions and benefits. Mr. Fadzen worked for the district from 1994 until August 2012, when he was fired for what district officials say was an improper traffic stop.

Mr. Fadzen filed age and disability discrimination charges against the district with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in March 2012.

The traffic stop was not the real reason for his dismissal, Mr. Fadzen alleges in his lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Instead, it was the district's desire to hire a younger and healthier schools safety chief that prompted the investigation into the traffic stop that ultimately led to his ouster, according to the lawsuit. Prior to the investigation, the lawsuit states, Mr. Fadzen "had been subjected to multiple comments regarding his health, the medical devices prescribed to him as a result of his medical conditions, and his ability to perform his job functions" from former Pittsburgh Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt.

District officials could not be reached for comment.

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