BernCo director discriminated against Hispanics, lawsuit claims

Updated: 08/14/2014 10:13 PM | Created: 08/14/2014 9:03 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Another lawsuit alleging discrimination by Bernalillo County leaders has emerged. This lawsuit claims that a director made disparaging remarks about Hispanic men and treated Hispanic male staff unfairly.  

Three Hispanic men working for Animal Care Services at Bernalillo County claim they were tormented for years by their boss Matthew Pepper, and were forced to work in an environment where slurs against Hispanics were common.

The lawsuit claims Pepper said that "all Hispanic women had the same hair style" and that "Hispanic employees needed to be cleaned up."

He also allegedly "called a truck with a camper shell a 'Mexican RV'."

Matthew Pepper allegedly told "a Hispanic male that he should be fixed so that he wouldn't have any more children."

The suit claims Pepper disciplined Hispanic men far more harshly than their white counterparts, even placing GPS tracking units in the vehicles of only Hispanics.

Two of these Hispanic men were eventually fired.

Matthew Pepper resigned his position last week.

These allegations of race discrimination are stacked on top of other discrimination claims.

Bernalillo County Public Information Director Tia Bland is accused of bullying a subordinate and forcing her to work in an unsafe office.

Attorneys are working to involve 230 women in a class action lawsuit, alleging that they earn less pay at the county because of their gender.

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