Only on 10: Former Dighton fire chief facing sexual harassment allegations
DIGHTON, Mass. (WJAR) —
Dighton’s former fire chief, who is facing 27 charges after he allegedly misused town funds, is now being accused of sexual harassment.
NBC 10 News on Monday obtained a document from the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, which notes that a former dispatcher claimed that Antone Roderick started harassing her in January 2013.
The woman, who hails from Assonet, said he sent her a slew of sexually suggestive text messages.
“He specifically stated on February 25, 2013, ‘I love you,’” the woman said in the complaint.
She said other text messages included the following:
“I guess sex doesn't make you tired, since I do it verbally.”
“I want you so bad.”
“The shirt, heels, and thong are looking really good.”
"Wondering how a fresh bare skin would look under lime green with black boots."
"You better give me a hug and kiss when I see you, I don't like my girl upset if you haven't figured that out."
“Wow, I have been working really hard for u and no fringe benefits.”
She also said the harassment became physical.
“On February 17, 2013, Roderick pushed me up against a wall in the workplace and kissed me.”
The woman went on to note that the harassment impacted her work schedule.
“When I was on favorable grounds with Chief Roderick, my work shifts were unaffected,” she wrote in the complaint. “In fact, Rodericks (sic) assigned me 40 hours per week and far more hours then I had ever acquired on any weekly basis. Once I held steadfast in denying and declining all sexual remarks, conduct, and suggestive language and touching, my dispatching shifts decreased substantially, or decreasing to 8 to 16 hours per week.”
After she said she confronted him, he allegedly said, "Are you threatening me ... don't threaten me, you'll be sorry!"
However, in a decision filed nearly a year later, an investigator dismissed the complaint, noting that they couldn’t conclude a violation was committed.
NBC 10 is withholding the name of the alleged victim due to the sexual nature of the allegations.
NBC 10 repeatedly tried to contact Roderick for comment on the sexual harassment claims, as well as other stories, to no avail.
A lawyer for the town also declined comment, but said he felt the charge was without merit.
Meanwhile, Roderick is currently facing 27 charges for allegedly making roughly $35,000 worth of improper purchases with town funds. He's due back in court in May.