Second sexual harassment lawsuit targets Monessen mayor Lou Mavrakis |

Second sexual harassment lawsuit targets Monessen mayor Lou Mavrakis

Renatta Signorini
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.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter @byrenatta.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.