Associated Press
Wednesday, April 21, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky’s former juvenile justice commissioner has appealed her termination for alleged harassment, bullying and creating a “toxic environment” in the workplace, according to a published report.

LaShana Harris disputed findings from an investigation into the allegations in a letter dated April 5 and said she was subjected to “misogynoir,” a term used to describe prejudice or hostility aimed at Black women, the Courier Journal reported.

The newspaper said it obtained the 10-page appeal requesting a reversal or modification of the termination through an open records request.

Harris also alleged racist incidents including someone posting a photo of a monkey in earrings, pearls and lipstick during a meeting that she said was meant to represent her.

“As the commissioner, there were male and female staff that directly rebuked my leadership, wanted to manage me and control the office operations,” Harris said in her appeal. “Being a strong female leader in the midst of misogynoir was extremely difficult.”

Morgan Hall, a spokeswoman for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, said in a statement the agency “does not tolerate discrimination of any kind, including sex, race or harassment, at any level.”

A March 23 termination letter said Harris was being dismissed for violating policies on harassment and for lack of good behavior and unsatisfactory performance of duties.

A investigation report said her behavior included excessive anger, threats, intimidation and shouting and said it found that she was untruthful by denying some of the allegations.

In her appeal, Harris called the allegations against her “unfounded” or “untruthful.”

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