Panel: West Gardiner firefighter passed over for chief promotion due to gender

Posted Sept. 25, 2012, at 6:39 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A state board has unanimously ruled in favor of a West Gardiner firefighter who said selectmen refused to appoint her as chief because of her gender.

The Maine Human Rights Commission also found Monday that Vicki Dill was subjected to retaliation because she was demoted after expressing her frustration to a newspaper.

Commission findings are not law, but may become grounds for lawsuits.

An attorney for the town told the Kennebec Journal the town is willing to try to resolve the dispute through a settlement. Dill’s lawyer said she and Dill would participate in conciliation efforts.

The 41-year-old Dill got the most votes in the West Gardiner Firemen’s Association election for chief in 2009, but was passed over in favor of the person who got the third most votes.