Judge Dismisses Sexual Harassment Suit Against Ocean Springs

A federal judge has dismissed a former Ocean Springs firefighter's sexual harassment lawsuit against the city.

Jolene Hammons, 30, became the city's the first female firefighter in March 1999. She filed the $1 million suit against Fire Chief Mark Hare and Ocean Springs after she left the department in April 2000. Hare had been dismissed from the suit July 17.

U.S. Magistrate John M. Roper dismissed the entire suit last week, saying Hammons failed to produce "material fact'' of the alleged harassment and emotional distress.

In August, the court ordered certain documents submitted in the case to be sealed and attorneys representing both sides were directed by the court not to comment.

Hammons alleged that she received threatening e-mail and telephone calls and that derogatory comments were posted on the Mississippi Firefighter Association Internet chat board. She also claimed other firefighters treated her badly.

Hammons said she took action against the city and its fire chief because no disciplinary action was taken against those involved.