LANCASTER, N.Y. — A month and a half after being humiliated, Aline Weber is still shaken from the experience.
“It was disgusting. It was unnecessary. It was gross. It was gross,” said Weber, with tears forming in her eyes.
For the third summer in a row, Weber was hired to work in the Village of Lancaster’s Department of Public Works. For the 20-year-old college student studying agriculture science, it was a way to help pay for tuition.
Weber’s title was 'seasonal laborer'. Her regular assignment was watering hanging plants and planters along the main streets in the village and assorted other assignments.
Work at the DPW starts early. Everyone is expected to clock in during the 7 a.m. hour and then wait for assignments from the supervisor.
On the morning of July 15, DPW worker Brian Mamott announced to everyone assembled that he had a song he wanted to share with everyone.
In a video of the song, obtained by 2 On Your Side, Mamott can be clearly heard singing, “You can tell by the smell that your girl’s not doing well when the end of the month rolls along. You can tell by the stink that your girl’s not in the pink when the end of the month rolls along.”
The song lasted about two minutes. In other verses, Mamott sings about women being “bitchy” during their period and about sex acts with women while they’re menstruating.
Weber is the only woman in the room while Mamott sings. During the song, the camera moves to her seat, fidgeting with her phone and flashing a forced smile.
“I’m sitting there listening as he starts and I’m like what?...what the heck is this?” says Weber.
Immediately, Weber filed a formal complaint with the village government.
Paul Rudz, a village trustee and chairman of the human resources committee, tells 2 On-Your-Side, “That person (Mamott) was suspended immediately. They were given ten days off without pay.”
Unfortunately, that was not the end of the matter. In August, all DPW employees were required to take a Sexual Harassment training course. So, workers were all gathered in a room, including Weber and Mamott reviewing appropriate workplace boundaries.
The course reminded Weber of the humiliating song. Upset, she punched out of work early after the seminar, went home, and took a shower.
Weber says as she’s getting out of the shower, “I looked right out our window and I see Brain Mamott pulling up in the DPW chipper truck and just parked right out in front of my house.”
She snapped a picture of Mamott and then filed a harassment complaint with Lancaster Police.
“I felt like I wasn’t getting any help. No one was doing anything to help me. That’s what it felt like,” says Weber.
2 On Your Side made multiple requests for an on-camera interview with Mayor Lynne Ruda. She declined, offering a statement that reads in part, “The Village does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or retaliation of any kind. Period. It takes courage for someone to report this conduct, and we are grateful when they do. We take these reports very seriously.”
Now, the village government is trying to fire Mamott. We say trying because Mamott is still on the job.
Rudz explains, “We’re bound by terms of the contract they have a period while their matter is being settled that their employment is to continue.”
DPW workers are represented by the labor union CSEA. Under the current contract, workers can appeal any punishment.
CSEA spokesman Ove Overmyer says, “It is hope we can come to an expeditious remedy to our appeal with Village of Lancaster officials as soon as possible.”
The matter is headed for arbitration, a process that can take months or longer.
Meanwhile, the person who recorded the video has avoided punishment altogether. That man is Adam Dickman, who is also a member of the Lancaster Town Council.
In a news release, Mayor Ruda says during the village government’s “thorough investigation” it found no basis to take personnel action against Dickman.
Rudz says that’s unacceptable, “(Dickman) can be heard laughing while he’s filming it and then he forwarded it along without thinking without giving it a second thought. I think it’s just, it’s extremely poor judgment on his part.”
On Election Day, Dickman was re-elected to his town council seat. 2 On Your Side was unable to reach Dickman for comment.
Weber has hired attorney Lindy Korn, who says “all options are on the table” including a possible lawsuit against the village of Lancaster.