Second sexual harassment lawsuit targets Monessen mayor Lou Mavrakis
Monessen City and its mayor, Lou Mavrakis, are the target of a lawsuit a city employee filed Tuesday in federal court claiming her sexual harassment was in response to her request for a longer shift, according to the filing.
Melissa Luketich of Monessen claims sex discrimination and retaliation and is seeking compensation.
Luketich asked to work eight hours a day rather than six as the city’s meter officer in May 2016, according to the lawsuit. Mavrakis, 79, allegedly responded, “If you want more hours, come down to the city building and get under my desk,” according to the lawsuit.
Three months later, Mavrakis told Luketich that her “job was on the line,” according to the lawsuit.
When contacted by the Tribune-Review on Wednesday, Mavrakis denied the allegations and questioned the timing and motivation of the suit. Mavrakis narrowly lost the nomination in the May primary election and is running a write-in campaign against Democratic mayoral nominee Matt Shorraw in the Nov. 7 election.
“I’m 80 years old; would I do something like that? I don’t think so,” Mavrakis said. “Absolutely, they’re not true.”
Similar allegations were filed against Mavrakis in February in Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court. In that lawsuit, Rebekah Shrader of Belle Vernon claims that when she was employed as a police officer in Monessen, she rejected Mavrakis’ request for a hug and a kiss. Shrader alleges that Mavrakis kissed her on the cheek.
Mavrakis pointed to an unrelated suit in federal court that Luketich filed in June against a former employer in Washington County. In that lawsuit, she claims sexual harassment, unlawful termination and retaliation while she worked at Pilot Travel Centers. Lawyers for the travel center denied allegations in court filings.
That case has been referred to mediation.