- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A former prosecutor with the U.S. attorney’s office in Nebraska was discriminated against because she’s a woman, according to a new federal lawsuit that also says she experienced retaliation after filing a complaint.

Jill Finken, a former special assistant U.S. attorney in the office, said supervisors harassed her and she was treated differently than male colleagues. She also claims she was denied opportunities for full-time work in the office despite her legal experience and work as a reservist in the Iowa Army National Guard.

The lawsuit was filed Friday and names the U.S. Justice Department, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the U.S. attorney’s office in Nebraska, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (https://bit.ly/1SCQvSN ). U.S. Attorney for Nebraska Deborah Gilg declined to comment, saying the lawsuit is ongoing, according to the newspaper.

Finken joined the office in October 2012. Under a grant-funded initiative, she was expected to improve prosecution rates in certain cases of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. But she says there was resistance from the office to prosecute some cases, and she claims it was fueled by gender bias and stereotypes.

“I’ve never been undermined to the extent that I was undermined at the U.S. Attorney’s office,” she said Wednesday.

Finken said she filed a complaint and sought help from Gilg. The lawsuit claims the U.S. attorney refused.

Finken resigned from the job in September. Her lawsuit seeks lost earnings, lost benefits and compensation for anguish and humiliation, among other damages.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com


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