A 20-year veteran of Hamilton County’s probation department says she was denied a promotion after advising another woman to file a sexual-harassment claim against a boss on the county’s payroll at the time. Cassandra (Casey) DeNoma’s sex-discrimination lawsuit was filed Oct. 26 in Cincinnati federal court. She described the county probation department as a male bastion where female probation officers are treated as second-class workers and said she suffered retaliation “for opposing discrimination and encouraging others to exercise their right to be free from acts of discrimination.” The probation department is controlled by the county’s judges and supervises offenders who are not sent to jail after being convicted of committing crimes.
DeNoma, who is supervisor of the county’s Intensive Supervised Probation unit that operates under a state grant, claims she hit a glass ceiling when she applied to become No. 2 under former Court Administrator Mike Walton, who recently retired.
Walton had been in charge of the probation department. Said DeNoma:
“Under Walton’s command, the probation department has strongly resembled a ‘boys’ club’ in that preferential treatment is given to men in appointments, assignments and work conditions.”
DeNoma said she was treated less favorably than men and was excluded from meetings and strategy sessions, among other claims.
County officials didn’t respond to a request for comment by CityBeat’s press deadline. The case seeks a judgment forcing the county to appoint DeNoma assistant chief of the probation department. It also seeks economic damages, plus punitive damages to be awarded at trial.