RAY BROOK - An employee at the state Department of Environmental Conservation in Ray Brook is alleging that she's been harassed, threatened and discriminated against.
According to the Albany Times Union, Alelie Serrano told state Department of Human Rights Administrative Law Judge Edward Luban last week that her co-workers have been harassing her for some time. She alleges that they've made comments about speaking Spanish to her family and calling her salsa ring tone jungle music.
Serrano, a 30-year old Hispanic woman, is a dispatcher for DEC Region Five.
She also testified that a hangman's noose was hung in front of her locker and that her car was recently vandalized. Serrano said that the alleged noose featured a six-inch by 10-inch loop.
DEC Bureau of Affirmative Action Director Juan T. Abadia was informed of the matter prior to Serrano filing an outside complaint. He testified that after investigating the matter, he recommended diversity training at the Region Five headquarters, but was ignored.
Abadia, a former Army Ranger, testified that the knotted-rope couldn't be mistaken for anything but a noose.
Serrano's husband - a Region Five DEC officer - and another co-worker testified on her behalf.
Witnesses for DEC testified that the hanging rope was not a noose at all, but instead used for knot training.
DEC spokesman Yancey Roy declined comment late Monday afternoon.
"It's a personnel matter and going through the legal process," Roy said. "We obviously can't comment at this time."
At the hearing, DEC brass defended the actions of its employees, stating that little if any evidence exists to reinforce Serrano's claims.