A longtime firefighter in Limington who sued the town and selectmen, alleging she was harassed and discriminated against for a decade, settled her federal lawsuit on Friday for more than $100,000.

Andrea Thompson reached a settlement with the town less than two months after she first filed suit in York County Superior Court, claiming she was subject to sexual comments and jokes, and that her pay was withheld by selectmen after she complained.

But the case took years to resolve from the time of Thompson’s initial complaint to the town, through municipal hearings and a discrimination complaint filed with the Maine Human Rights Commission in 2011, said her attorney, Rebecca Webber of Skelton, Taintor & Abbott in Auburn.

“Andrea is happy that the parties were able to come to a resolution and move forward. She also feels as if she has been heard,” Webber said on Thompson’s behalf.

The settlement, which does not have a confidentiality clause because it involves public money, calls for Thompson to receive $75,000 while another $29,900 goes to pay for the years of legal fees.

Thompson withdrew the case from the state court and refiled the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Portland on Nov. 18, again naming as defendants the town; two current selectmen, Darryl Hubbard and Bruce Rozett; and two former selectmen, Charles Huntress and Raymond Webb.


Limington’s town attorney, Leah Rachin, did not return a phone message Friday afternoon.

Thompson, who began working for the town as a firefighter in 2000, said in the lawsuit that her reports of sexual comments, inappropriate behavior by other firefighters and jokes about her blond hair were ignored by town officials, who then withheld her pay. The complaint says the gender discrimination against Thompson violates the state’s Civil Rights Act.

Thompson had demanded lost wages, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney’s fees and other relief in the 18-page complaint.

The Maine Human Rights Commission found reasonable grounds to believe that discrimination occurred in connection with her complaints of sexual harassment, and gave Thompson permission to pursue the matter in court by issuing a Notice of Failed Conciliation, according to the complaint.

In the complaint, Thompson says she was called a “bitch” and a “dumb blonde,” and heard comments about her breast size, including when she returned to work after having a baby.

Thompson alleges in her complaint that she was treated differently from her male co-workers after she was put on light duty. Selectmen told the acting fire chief at the time to change her title from captain to secretary, reduce her hourly pay and not allow her to respond to calls, according to the complaint. Male firefighters on light duty were not given the same restrictions, Thompson alleges.


According to the complaint, “the harassment took a physical and mental toll on Thompson and she had to be treated for acute stress.”

Thompson also received hang-up calls and saw strange cars parked at the end of her driveway after she made a written complaint of harassment in 2001, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit also alleges that Thompson’s male co-workers mistreated female patients on rescue calls.

Limington’s current fire chief, Mike Hartford, said Friday night that he has known Thompson for 10 years and called her “an important member of the department.”

“We’ve stood behind her all the way, and we’re really happy this is coming to a resolution,” Hartford said.

Thompson has remained an employee of the fire department since the time she first filed a complaint.


Hartford said that while it’s been an unfortunate situation that has taken years to resolve for Thompson, the town has taken some “positive steps” as a result, such as creating a personnel policy.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:


Twitter: @scottddolan

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