In an emotional and touching speech in front of Leduk City Councilors on Monday night, Megan Wright ended the dream of a seven-year career that she grew up with.
Firefighters and paramedics stood up and offered his resignation from the Leduc Fire Services, which he and at least two other female firefighters had publicly accused of harassment.
“I thought if I stood up and talked about what’s going on around me, people would listen. There will be meaningful change, ”Wright told councilors.
She said that in her time with the service, she brought allegations of sexual misconduct to her superiors. He said those allegations were not implemented.
“[I thought] If HR, the Defense Services Manager, the City Manager knew what was happening, they would do something. They will intervene because it goes against the mission, vision and values of the city of Leduc. I was met with interrogation, not support. “
Wright’s resignation comes just weeks after George Clancy, the head of the Leduk Fire Service, resigned.
Earlier, two female firefighters were named in a lawsuit filed against Leduc City on similar charges of harassment, bullying, discrimination and abuse. The lawsuit does not name those accused of harassment, intimidation or abuse.
The lawsuit was settled out of court, and Wright’s lawsuit was never settled out of court.
Leduc Fire chief resigns after sexual harassment, harassment case filed against the city
At the end of his passionate 11-minute speech, Wright held his first response badge.
“When I received this badge, I was proud. Now that I see it, it’s a symbol of my trauma and an unsafe workplace. “
Wright placed that badge with the City Council on Monday.
“I hope you will use this as a reminder of your responsibility to the public and to the employees of the city of Leduc.”
On Tuesday, Wright told Global News that his speech and resignation led to his best sleep of the year.
“It was amazing to see those people say that and then leave.”
Former City Councilor Weight
Dana Smith served on Leduk City Council from 2004 to 2017.
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Although firefighters say they have complained to TK
Smith, a successor to his superiors at the time, told Global News he was never aware of the allegations.
“One of the words I use is I’m shocked.”
In 2021, the Leduc City Administration produced a third party report on the allegations. Which was fully delivered to the city in January but has not yet been made available to the City Council.
“This is not the city I thought I was working for.”
Smith believes the taxpayer financing report should go to the council because it contains recommendations for improving the Leduc Fire Service, and similar complaints can never happen.
He said the city’s staff is incredible and the city is well-served but there needs to be more transparency.
Smith called the women who came forward “heroes” and called on the city to comply with the recommendations and publicly apologize.
“The staff is watching. And they are waiting to see what happens. “
In an open letter to a local newspaper, Dave McKenzie echoed Smith’s concerns, another former Leduk City councilor.
A letter received by Global News prior to the distribution stated that “if there is a possibility of sexual immorality or even abuse in such a reputable organization, it is likely to happen anywhere.” McKenzie called on any and all organizations to double-check their own policies, procedures and all possibilities for abuse of their physical environment.
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Council orders new review
“This is not an easy time for us,” Leduc Mayor Bob Young told Global News.
Young said he was shocked and saddened by Wright’s resignation on Monday.
He acknowledged that the city needs to work to be more transparent about the situation, but said that he and the city have a lot to say.
“Employee privacy laws, and when it goes to court, it really makes it harder for us to comment on anything,” Young explained.
The Young Admissions City Council did not receive a third-party report, but said the administration had updated the council more than once about the situation.
He said he would not push for it to be published because it focuses on past events.
“I do not think the report is important to the council. I think at the end of the day, I want to … we need to do better. “
Instead, he said he was committed to making the city a safer place to work.
In an email to Global News, a spokesman wrote: “Disciplinary measures that strike a balance of appropriate punishment against the level of misconduct.”
Exactly what action has been taken has not been disclosed. The City does not say whether two members resigned last week but whether they were fired or not.
The city further said it is ordering a new review.
“An external organization is being secured to conduct a culture review from top to bottom of the organization and to create an action plan to ensure overall culture change,” the spokesman wrote.
Asked how that review would differ from the unpublished report, the spokesman said the report was intended to address specific allegations when the new review would look at the company as a whole.
“You’re going to see our administration come up with some recommendations and we’re going to announce the steps we’re taking,” explained Mayor Young.
He did not say whether the recommendations of the third party report would be implemented.
Wright wants to publish third party reports and implement recommendations.
“It’s about meaningful change. And to take responsibility for what happened to them and say sorry,” he said.
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