A black female officer has filed a discrimination complaint against the New York State Department of Financial Services in Manhattan Federal Court. In her complaint, Deidre Manns, a fraud investigator, said the NY State Department of Financial Services supported a toxic work environment.
According to a report carried in the New York Post, Manns alleged that she was treated unfairly compared to her white male counterparts and was called "stupid" and a "bit*h".
Manns also alleged that she was subjected to discriminatory behavior at DFS based on "race, gender, sex and national origin." Her suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Manns Was Commended for Excellent Work By Former Boss
The complaint carries the names of the department's former Superintendent Linda Lacewell, and current Commissioner Adrienne Harris, as defendants.
Reportedly, Manns worked as an undercover investigator with City Human Resources Administrator for 20 years. In 2016, she started working at DFS. Manns has also stated in her complaint that a fight between two colleagues could have jeopardized an undercover case.
On the other hand, DFS suspended Manns without pay and sought to fire her, accusing her of conducting unauthorized criminal background searches and doing personal business on company time. She disputed the charges and the issue remains in arbitration.
However, Manns seems to be in the good books of her former boss in the DFS fraud bureau Joseph Edwards who has defended her record, stating that she was the victim of a "toxic work environment."
In his statement issued to a reputed daily, Edwards stated that Deirdre was an excellent worker adding, "Her work was top notch, impeccable."
He also said that others in the bureau were trying to "find some way to discredit or undermine the work she did. She is a black woman who knows what she's doing. Some people didn't like that fact. What has happened to her is very unfair. It's just not right," added Edwards.
It is learnt that Manns had also bagged a letter of commendation for playing a significant role in exposing Medicaid fraud for HRA in 2015. Edwards held Manns in high esteem as he even pushed for her to succeed him when he retired in 2019.