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Age discrimination complaint dismissed

ASHLAND — An age discrimination complaint filed by a former part-time employee at the Ashland Senior Center has been dismissed by Bureau of Labor and Industries due to lack of evidence, a BOLI spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

Dorothy Parsons, a former part-time employee at the Senior Center, filed a complaint in December alleging she was discriminated against by Ashland Parks and Recreation and terminated because of her age.

According to a two-page memo sent to the Ashland Daily Tidings Tuesday, a BOLI investigator noted that "(Parsons) in her own words described her resignation as a protest," and that there's no need of further investigation.

The Tidings reported in January that parks Director Michael Black denied the allegation, saying he "didn't fire anybody." The Tidings also reported that Parsons, along with three other part-time Senior Center employees, handed in their resignation letters to the city Aug. 30 and "resigned en masse in support of our program director."

Parsons' claim is one of several actions taken against the Parks and Recreation Commission after it voted to effectively dismiss the former manager of the Senior Center, Chris Dodson, in August.

Dodson sent a tort claim notice to the city in January alleging she was wrongfully terminated. Most recently, an effort to recall three commissioners has successfully gathered enough signatures from Ashland voters to initiate a special election set to take place in March.

City Attorney David Lohman declined to comment on the dismissal of Parsons' claim. He said the city hasn't gotten any other notice regarding Dodson's allegation.

Parks Commissioner Jim Lewis told the Tidings he has filed a complaint against the recall petitioners for allegedly using false statements to solicit signatures for the recall efforts.

Parsons couldn't immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

— Reach reporter Tran Nguyen at 541-776-4485 or tnguyen@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on twitter @nguyenntrann.