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FilAm’s Demotion Discrimination Suit

GLENDALE – The Civil Service Commission of Glendale denied the request to dismiss the case of Filipino-American Edith Fuentes, who appealed to the Commission against her demotion — from former Zoning Administrator, to Planning Administrator, to a planner position. Having held one of the most powerful decision-making positions in Glendale for 18 years, Fuentes is fighting her demotion, claiming the move was discriminatory and based on insider politics. Fuentes was the longest-serving zoning administrator in Glendale, responsible for enforcing the land use planning code of the city.

According to her demotion letter, Fuentes’ boss, Community Development Director Hassan Haghani, had notified her of poor decision-making and unclear written decisions that led to unnecessary civil litigation against the city. Fuentes denied the claim. She said that besides ethnic and gender discrimination, her demotion may have been in retaliation for a successful lawsuit she filed in 2000 in which she claimed her boss harassed her based on her background. As part of a settlement, Fuentes received a public apology from city officials. She did not ask for financial damages, but the city paid her attorney’s fees.

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