Special to the Independent
By letter dated August 8, 2023, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (together, the “Department of Justice”) jointly informed the City of Everett that the Department of Justice is closing a preliminary inquiry relating to allegations of racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and sexual harassment by City employees and officials.
More than 14 months ago, on June 2, 2022, the United States Attorney notified the City that the United States Attorney’s Office had opened a Title VII inquiry and requested the production of certain information relating to potential discrimination, harassment, hostile environment, or retaliation by City employees and/or officials. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. The City was committed to a full and fair inquiry and retained outside counsel to conduct an internal review of the allegations and to assist in the inquiry, including interacting with representatives of the Department of Justice. The City demonstrated its commitment to a thorough and timely review by cooperating fully with all aspects of the inquiry and providing information and records responsive to the requests of the Department of Justice.
“We cooperated fully throughout the course of this inquiry,” said Mayor DeMaria. “I am pleased that the matter has been closed, but I am not surprised by the outcome.”
With the written notification from the Department of Justice, the matter is now closed without further action or investigatory activities, and no charges will be brought against the City or any municipal employees or officials.
The closing of the inquiry does not mean that the work underway in Everett will come to an end. “Our commitment to ensuring that we are an ‘Everett for Everyone’ began before this inquiry was opened and that work continues,” said the Mayor. “We will continue to find ways to bring residents together to celebrate the diverse cultures that make our community special, as well as continue with our teachings and trainings dedicated to providing our residents and also our employees with a city government that is accessible, respectful, and culturally sensitive.”