Wash. Women Complaining of Union Boss Harassment Threatened

Three women whose complaints of sexual harassment were instrumental in the firing of a union boss from his hospital job have reported getting threatening letters and phone calls, with 1 woman finding a mutilated rabbit in her front yard.  Three other accusers were named in a federal lawsuit by the ex-Western State mental hospital mgr., Barrette “Bear” Green, claiming to have been the victim of racism.  Green is also the frmr. head of Local 793 of the Wash. Fedtn. of Public Employees, which is affiliated with the Amer. Fedtn. Of State, County & Municipal Employees.


Therapist Kathleen Lizee accused Green of sexual harassment, and hospital managers of inaction, in a civil lawsuit that the state settled last year by agreeing to pay Lizee $896,000.  A consultant hired by the state soon turned up reports of coerced sex and harassment by Green from more than a dozen women.  The hospital fired Green on Nov. 24. 


In his suit, Green accuses the state Dept. of Social & Health Services (DSHS) of ignoring other consensual workplace relationships, a category he claimed applied to his activities with women at the hospital.  In a letter to the Pierce County Police Dept., DSHS Secy. Dennis Braddock asked for help in investigating the newest reports of harassment, which “do not appear to be random or coincidental.”  Braddock noted several other female hospital employees previously reported harassing or threatening phone calls at home after complaining about Green.  “We are not trying to imply that [Green] is responsible for these acts, but we do think a full investigation is necessary, if for no other reason than to prevent any further harassment,” Braddock wrote. [Seattle Times, 12/18/03]