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Stratford Pays $125K to Settle DPW Worker's Sexual Harassment Lawsuit


Stratford Borough (Camden County) on December, 8, 2017, agreed to pay $125,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a former Department of Public Works employee who claimed that the former Borough Clerk would grab his rear end, ask him whether he was wearing a thong and say "Hubba hubba hubba."

In his lawsuit, Andrew Marano claimed that former Borough Clerk John Keenan had been sexually harassing him and other employees "for years."  Marano's lawsuit, which was filed on April 22, 2016, claimed that Keenan would repeatedly comment on "how tan he was," rub his shoulders and back while they were in Borough Hall and sometimes "grab or rub Marano's rear end." 

According to the lawsuit, Keenan, who reportedly oversaw the DPW, asked Marano who was soaked after putting up a clock in the rain, to "take his jeans off and wear a yellow thong for the rest of the day."  According to Marano, Keenan "frequently made it known that he was homosexual" and "would text Marano while he was on vacation and ask Marano if he was 'at the nude beach' [and] to take pictures for him."

According to reports, Marano claimed that Stratford had no meaningful sexual harassment policy and that "Keenan would frequently hire people to whom he was sexually attracted, even if they were not qualified or otherwise prohibited from working for Stratford."  Marano's lawsuit alleged that one of Keenan's favored hirees "would work during the summer with just a vest, without a shirt underneath" and said that "If I blow him [Keenan], he'll get me a motorcycle." 

In addition, the lawsuit states that the hiree soon ended up owning a motorcycle shop.  Marano claimed that Keenan's sexual harassment compelled him to go on a leave of absence and ultimately lose his job.

Marano's suit also claims that Keenan retaliated against him after he complained that Keenan allegedly stole "hundreds of pounds of metal from Stratford."

The lawsuit is is captioned Andrew Marano v. Borough of Stratford, et al, Docket No. CAM-L-1577-16 and Marano's attorney is Leo B. Dubler III of Mount Laurel.  Case documents are on-line here.

The settlement agreement contains a confidentiality clause, which prevents the parties to the suit from disclosing the settlement's terms to others, including the media.