City of Westminster Employee Claims Racial Harassment, Files Lawsuit

A city of Westminster employee, who filed a lawsuit alleging that he was subjected to racial slurs and that a co-worker attempted to run him over, is speaking out for the first time about what he says is a deep rooted problem.

Jesse Levy says the problems began almost from the moment he started working at the city yard. He says the religious and ethnic name calling went on for years despite his numerous complaints.

"Automatically, my ethnicity was brought up," Levy says. "I'm Latino-Mexican."

Levy is also Jewish. The water quality tech says he often wore a baseball cap over his yarmulke at work, but at an awards ceremony, he took the baseball cap off. 

"When I came back to my table with fellow employees, my union president at time said, 'Thanks a lot, now everyone knows we hire (obscenity) Jews.'"

Levy worked at the city yard for the Westminster Water Department. He says the taunts from co-workers were hurtful and hateful and when he complained, he says, the response was not what he expected.

"Grow thick skin, (you) got to get along with people here," Levy recalls the message. "You're a young guy. These people are old school. That's the term they would use."

Last year, he filed a police report telling authorities a man he works with gave him a Nazi salute and another time drove towards him as he left the city yard.

"When nothing happened and this guy was basically brought back to work, I couldn't help but fear for my life," Levy said.

Levy's attorney, Jim Desimone says, "Gun gestures, knife slitting throat -- there are things are so repugnant...There are witnesses to these events."

The 33-year old father blames the city for not putting an end to the harassment. He's been placed on paid disability leave.

"I would rather have a job than a lawsuit, but they have led me down this path," Levy says. "I have no choice." 

NBC4 reached out to the Westminster city manager, who responded, "We take these matters seriously and we are in the process of conducting an investigation into the allegations."

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