Soucie complaint dismissed by EEOC

Marney Simon
Staff writer

A complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by Braidwood’s Deputy Chief of Police has been dismissed.

Michelle Soucie, a 19-year veteran of the department, was placed on administrative leave in January. Police Chief Nick Ficarello said that Soucie was under investigation for allegations of theft, but would not elaborate on that charge, other than to say that the department would not rule out the possibility of criminal charges against Soucie.

On March 10, Soucie filed a complaint with the EEOC charging discrimination. According to that claim, Soucie said the circumstances of the alleged discrimination were based on retaliation, disability, and sex, and involve issues of sexual harassment, harassment, and suspension alleged to occur on or about Jan. 17, 2017, and may be continuing.

Soucie also claimed to be discriminated against due to disability.

“During my employment, I was subjected to sexual harassment and to disability-related comments,” she wrote in the charge, a copy of which was obtained by the Braidwood Journal.

“When Respondent (City of Braidwood) became aware of the sexual harassment, I was subjected to further harassment and suspension. I believe I have been discriminated against because of my sex, female, and in retaliation for engaging in protected activity,” the complaint continued.

But on April 20, that complaint was dismissed.

According to the dismissal notification from the EEOC, Soucie’s file was closed after an investigation, where the EEOC was “unable to conclude that the information obtained established violations of the statues.”

The dismissal notice added that “this does not certify that the respondent is in compliance with the statutes. No finding is made as to any other issues that might be construed as having been raised by this charge.”

Soucie remains on administrative leave. The chief noted that the Illinois State Police have become involved in the investigation.

Soucie has been a member of the Braidwood PD since 1998, first as a patrol officer, then a sergeant, before being elevated to the role of Deputy Chief in 2015.