City News

Fitchburg mayor’s past reveals suspension, grievance filed

Fitchburg Mayor Jason Gonzales was disciplined at work in 2007 for making a sexually harassing phone call to a coworker. Ten years later, a client filed a grievance against him.  

In the midst of a re-election bid, Fitchburg Mayor Jason Gonzalez faces exposure of a work suspension in 2007 which said he made a sexually harassing phone call to a coworker.

Documents obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal showed Gonzalez, working as an EMT at the time, was suspended for 30 days by the Oregon, Wisconsin, Fire Department because he and two coworkers made an “unwelcome” late-night phone call to a colleague who claimed it was sexually harassing.  

In addition to the suspension, Gonzalez was also required to view a sexual harassment training video and write an apology letter to the coworker he harassed. The Wisconsin State Journal also reported he was disciplined later that year for missing or showing up late for shifts without notifying a superior. 

In response to the State Journal’s report, Gonzalez issued a statement denying he made the phone call but admitted he had done nothing to stop them. 

Gonzales is no stranger to controversy, having been the target of a lawsuit last year claiming he had engaged in malpractice while a practicing attorney. Isthmus reported Gonzalez barely did any work in constructing a coherent defense for his client in a criminal case, leading to a conviction that was later overturned. 

In 2017, he allegedly offered to send Isthmus a picture of a client’s penis, as the picture was a focal point in the trial. The client filed a grievance against him less than a month before he won his first term as mayor of Fitchburg. 

Now, Gonzalez is facing his first election as incumbent mayor, running against Fitchburg city council member Aaron Richardson. 

“I firmly believe we need a Mayor that is reliable, accountable and treats citizens, staff and business leaders with respect,” Richardson said on Facebook. “There have been way too many instances of inappropriate behavior, comments and language over the past two years that is embarrassing to me as a Fitchburg resident.”

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