Fired Brown County worker gets job back in settlement

Brown County settles wrongful termination case with Public Works employee

GREEN BAY (WLUK) - After being fired by Brown County two and a half years ago, Nancy Loritz is now back on the job in Brown County. She had previously worked 23 years for the county's Public Works Department.

Loritz was fired in January of 2015 for misuse of county property. But Loritz claimed she was dismissed for being gay, and filed a discrimination complaint with the state's Department of Workforce Development--Equal Rights Division.

The Department of Workforce Development in August of 2016 ruled Brown County may have violated the state's Fair Employment Law by terminating Loritz because of her sexual orientation.

A hearing was set for May 2017, but FOX 11 Investigates obtained documentation from the Department of Workforce Development showing a private settlement was reached ahead of that hearing. A formal order by an administrative law judge dismissed the complaint dated June 9, 2017.

FOX11 Investigates reached out to both Loritz and the county for comment. Loritz' attorney, Tamara Packard, issued a statement to FOX11 Investigates acknowledging her return to work and saying "the matter has been settled."

Brown County's Corporation Counsel David Hemery added: "We are prevented by the express terms of said settlement from saying more."

Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach last year disputed that Loritz was let go because of sexual orientation, indicating it had to do with her on the job performance.

“The facts still remain that she falsified records, she misused company equipment, and when confronted about it she lied. And ultimately that was the decision as to why we decided to terminate," said Streckenbach in August of 2016.

Loritz admitted in her complaint to the state that she and other workers routinely plowed and salted private lots and businesses, but attributed the blame to supervisors writing: "On several occasions my co-workers and I were instructed to falsify documents and to use our vehicles and salt to assist private entities."

Since Loritz' firing two and a half years ago, the county conducted its own investigation. The public works director at the time resigned and two other workers were fired.

Loritz from the start indicated to FOX11 Investigates that she wanted her job back. It's not clear if she also received back pay or other money as part of the settlement with Brown County.

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