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Former top city finance official alleges discrimination

James Garavaglia, the city's former deputy comptroller, filed a lawsuit against the city and Comptroller Darlene Green
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — A former top deputy to St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green is alleging discrimination in a federal lawsuit filed late last month. It targets the city and Green.

James Garavaglia, the city's former deputy comptroller, said in the suit, filed in St. Louis district court, that Green suggested he retire "in a couple years" because of his "age, gender and/or race." Garavaglia is white. Green is Black.

"On numerous occasions, defendant Green expressed her preference for younger African-American female employees in the Comptroller's office, either directly to plaintiff or in front of plaintiff for plaintiff to overhear," the suit says.

The lawsuit claims that Green in April 2019 directly questioned Garavaglia and a white female employee in the office, the deputy comptroller of accounting services, about their intention to remain in their current positions. Garavaglia said he'd remain at least through Green's then-current term, ending in April 2021.

But Green put him on forced administrative leave in July 2019, the suit says, a move that made news. It says Green wanted to "audit" Garavaglia "in order to obtain and prepare a pretextual reason to justify" his termination.

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