Man alleges harassment, sues state

Man: Women create 'hostile environment' in probation dept.

Posted: Friday, September 16, 2005

A man working as an Alaska probation officer has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Corrections and three women, including his former supervisor, alleging she allowed "a sexually hostile workplace."

Patrick Kross claims in his action filed recently in Juneau Superior Court that "women were given better training opportunities, were assigned less difficult caseloads and were otherwise given preference by Betty Tangeman, who acted as the manager of the local Juneau probation office."

Tangeman, who now works in Anchorage, did not return a phone call Thursday seeking her response to the charges. The Alaska Department of Law, representing the defendants, did not respond to questions Thursday.

Kross, acting as his own attorney, also named parole officers Marylee Cassell and Dusty Price as participants in a hostile work environment.

Kross seeks an injunction against further acts of discrimination, unspecified damages for emotional distress and punitive damages, all to be shown at trial.

He noted in his suit that he filed a discrimination charge with the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights on Sept. 7, 2004. He wrote that the commission dismissed the complaint on June 8, finding it was unable to conclude the allegations established a violation of law.

In that complaint, he wrote he had worked as an Alaska probation officer since Aug. 20, 2001, and believed female management of his department created a sexually hostile environment. He alleged "oppressive and humiliating conditions for male employees."

He alleges in the lawsuit that the actions violated both state and federal law.

In the complaint, as in the lawsuit, he alleged a female co-worker pinched and rubbed his nipples on numerous occasions, even after being told to stop. Management was present at a birthday party where a candle "in the shape of male genitals" was presented on a cake, Kross wrote.

He also claimed female co-workers entered the men's restroom while it was in use, made offensive jokes and "sent offensive nude images via e-mail."

Kross wrote that when he complained about the hostile environment, disparate treatment and unwanted sexual touchings, battery and assault, he "was caused to be humiliated in his professional community as his complaints were the subject of comment, discussion and ridicule."

He alleged such statements put him in an unfavorable light within the corrections community and constitutes defamation.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.



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