Former Chemung County employee claims gender discrimination, sexual harassment by county officials

Local News

CHEMUNG COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) – A former Chemung County employee has filed a notice of claim against Chemung County and Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss alleging gender discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment by the county’s public information officer.

Nicolette Wagoner served as a Planning Commissioner and Director of Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council for Chemung County since August 2017.

According to the notice of claim released by the Chemung County Legislature, Wagoner alleges that she was sexually harassed by the county’s public information officer Vincent Azzarelli through “sexual comments and advances.”

According to Chemung County Attorney Hyder Hussain, sexual harassment training is mandatory for county employees, including Azzarelli, and that he has completed the recent course.

Wagoner further alleges that County Executive Moss “began to retaliate against (her).”

“In addition to the overt sexual comments, Claimant was subjected to the County gradually undermining Claimant’s position, questioning her extensive skill set, and creating a fraternal work environment which ultimately led to her employment being terminated and her position is being replaced with a less qualified, younger male.”

The notice of claim goes on to say that the county allegedly “used similar tactics towards other female employees in county government. The County never investigated her complaints of and ultimately terminated her for her complaints and to further create a male-dominated office.”

Hussain tells 18 News that Wagoner was relieved of her duties in December 2020.

Wagoner is seeking “no less than $1,500,000” according to the notice.

Wagoner is represented by Goddard Law PLLC in New York, New York. 18 News has reached out to the law firm for comment on the notice of claim.

On Friday afternoon the following statement was released by the county attorney:

County Executive Moss had no comment on the case. Azzarelli was unavailable for comment.

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