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Graveyard shift

Mount Hope Cemetery employee alleges false claims led to firing

In a new lawsuit, Manuel David Lugo, the former manager at the Mount Hope Cemetery, says his supervisors in the Parks and Recreation Department fired him because of his sexual orientation. But in order to do so, says Lugo, his supervisors were forced to find ways around the accolades and positive job reviews he had received during his eight years on the job.

"Motivated by his sexual orientation and/or because Mr. Lugo wasn’t a ‘team player’ the Parks and Recreation Department wanted Mr. Lugo gone. The problem was Mr. Lugo had a satisfactory record.

"So what did the City do? It made his life miserable. It ignored his pleas for help when one disgruntled co-worker “outed” him to customers and when another threatened him with a gun. And when Mr. Lugo wouldn’t quit, the City based on sham allegations brought a co-worker who had an ax to grind with Mr. Lugo and a superficial, incomplete and misleading fact finding investigation fired Mr. Lugo."

During his eight years of employment, Lugo claims he did more than just take care of the 146-year-old city-owned cemetery, he added new land, oversaw a major remodel, planted trees, implemented water-saving measures that saved the city "hundreds of thousands of dollars," and worked to make the experience easier for families.

But his dedication and hard work caused rifts between him and his co-workers. In 2008, Lugo said he overheard another employee making discriminatory remarks to potential clients. His supervisors refused to investigate. Three years later, one of Lugo's employees threatened to shoot him. Again, his supervisors essentially buried the complaint.

Meanwhile, supervisors allegedly began plotting to get rid of him. They launched investigations into what Lugo claims were unfounded accusations that he tried to profit from selling burial plots, and that he sexually harassed a co-worker. Both investigations showed Lugo was not at fault. Despite the lack of proof, his supervisors fired him.

"In the end, the majority of the accusations against Mr. Lugo were found by the City to be baseless and were dismissed…. The City of San Diego’s decision to terminate Mr. Lugo was after Mr. Lugo brought two claims for discrimination/retaliation in 2010 and 2012, which resulted in a complete lack of complete investigation…. The acts of Defendants and each of them were done with malice, fraud and oppression, and with conscious disregard for the Plaintiff’s rights, and with the intent to

injure [Lugo]."

Lugo is suing for loss of wages and other punitive damages.

The city has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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Nope no unions needed here.

Dec. 2, 2014

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In a new lawsuit, Manuel David Lugo, the former manager at the Mount Hope Cemetery, says his supervisors in the Parks and Recreation Department fired him because of his sexual orientation. But in order to do so, says Lugo, his supervisors were forced to find ways around the accolades and positive job reviews he had received during his eight years on the job.

"Motivated by his sexual orientation and/or because Mr. Lugo wasn’t a ‘team player’ the Parks and Recreation Department wanted Mr. Lugo gone. The problem was Mr. Lugo had a satisfactory record.

"So what did the City do? It made his life miserable. It ignored his pleas for help when one disgruntled co-worker “outed” him to customers and when another threatened him with a gun. And when Mr. Lugo wouldn’t quit, the City based on sham allegations brought a co-worker who had an ax to grind with Mr. Lugo and a superficial, incomplete and misleading fact finding investigation fired Mr. Lugo."

During his eight years of employment, Lugo claims he did more than just take care of the 146-year-old city-owned cemetery, he added new land, oversaw a major remodel, planted trees, implemented water-saving measures that saved the city "hundreds of thousands of dollars," and worked to make the experience easier for families.

But his dedication and hard work caused rifts between him and his co-workers. In 2008, Lugo said he overheard another employee making discriminatory remarks to potential clients. His supervisors refused to investigate. Three years later, one of Lugo's employees threatened to shoot him. Again, his supervisors essentially buried the complaint.

Meanwhile, supervisors allegedly began plotting to get rid of him. They launched investigations into what Lugo claims were unfounded accusations that he tried to profit from selling burial plots, and that he sexually harassed a co-worker. Both investigations showed Lugo was not at fault. Despite the lack of proof, his supervisors fired him.

"In the end, the majority of the accusations against Mr. Lugo were found by the City to be baseless and were dismissed…. The City of San Diego’s decision to terminate Mr. Lugo was after Mr. Lugo brought two claims for discrimination/retaliation in 2010 and 2012, which resulted in a complete lack of complete investigation…. The acts of Defendants and each of them were done with malice, fraud and oppression, and with conscious disregard for the Plaintiff’s rights, and with the intent to

injure [Lugo]."

Lugo is suing for loss of wages and other punitive damages.

The city has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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Nope no unions needed here.

Dec. 2, 2014

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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