Federal Agency Sues Domestic Violence Center
COLUMBIA - A federal agency is suing a domestic violence shelter in Columbia. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC has sued the Comprehensive Human Services incorporated in Columbia. The Shelter now known as True North is its main program.
The lawsuit comes after two women staff members say they were punished for claiming then-director Leigh Voltmer had inappropriately touched staff. It says they complained to Shelter board members in August 2008. Then the suit says two weeks later one member was fired and the other demoted along with a pay cut.
EEOC Attorney Barbara Seely in Kansas city says the lawsuit seeks back pay for the fired worker, reinstatement for the demoted worker to her previous position, along with compensatory and punitive damages.
Both Voltmer and current director Barbara Hodges did not return KOMU's calls. We went to Voltmer's home where her ex-husband Tim Chibrall told us she was out visiting her sister.
True North denies allegations that it engaged in any unlawful conduct towards Nancy Gause or Tracie Lawson in 2008. It says the actions it took toward Gause and Lawson were for legitimate, non- retaliatory reasons. True North says it has been and will continue to do defend itself against these allegations.