Former school administrator sues Metro, claiming sexually hostile work environment

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A woman who held a high-ranking cabinet position at Metro Schools claims she was sexually harassed by another administrator and was demoted and fired for complaining about him. 

Dr. Vanessa Garcia filed suit in Federal court Thursday, saying she was subjected to unwanted advances, inappropriate touching, sexual text messages, and threats from co-worker Moreno Carrasco.

She alleges Carrasco told her details about his sex life and said he dreamed about her getting out of the shower.  

The suit says Carrasco was hired by Metro Schools Director Dr. Shawn Joseph in 2016.  Garcia says Carrasco boasted about his close friendship with Dr. Joseph.

Her suit details how she and Carrasco held similar positions at the same level at first.  But she claims she was demoted in March 2017, and at that time, Moreno Carrasco became her direct supervisor.

The lawsuit alleges her demotion came after she spoke to a school board member and the Human Resources department about Carrasco’s behavior.  

In November 2017, Carrasco was placed on administrative leave when women staff members accused him of harassment. He resigned in December 2017.  

Garcia claims school district officials retaliated against her by firing her in May 2018 during a budget realignment. 

Vanessa Garcia is asking for $1.2 million in damages from Metro government. 

A spokesperson for Metro Schools declined to comment Friday because they have not received official notice of the lawsuit yet. 
 

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