2 Nassau correction officers file discrimination complaints

Two Nassau County correction officers have filed complaints that claim there is a pattern of harassment and discrimination at the county jail in East Meadow.

Two Nassau County correction officers have filed complaints that claim there is a pattern of harassment and discrimination at the county jail in East Meadow. (12/14/15)

EAST MEADOW - Two Nassau County correction officers have filed complaints that claim there is a pattern of harassment and discrimination at the county jail in East Meadow.

Officer Jonathan Wharton was previously awarded $420,000 by a federal jury after he complained that he was subjected to discrimination at work. Wharton filed a new complaint against the Sheriff's Department on Monday.

"After I went back to work and did my job, I thought it would stop," he tells News 12. "It has not stopped. It's gotten worse and more blatant."

Wharton, who has been on the job almost 28 years, says he found a picture hanging above his office door over the summer that shows a smiling black man with dollar signs and hearts around his head, and a tag on an orange shirt that reads "Needy Inmate."

"I not only have been threatened, but subjected to ridicule and harassment that is clearly race-based and intended to make me feel like I am an inmate," Wharton says.

Nassau Correction Officer Mary William also filed a complaint Monday claiming racial discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Williams says she found a swastika and KKK carved into the door to her office.

Williams and Wharton both say they followed procedure and filed numerous complaints. Instead of support, they say they were met with harsh backlash.

"Instead of dealing with the truth, that there is a problem, they treat me as if I'm the wrongdoer and ridicule me for daring to say something. This must stop," Williams says.

Nassau County officials say they will not comment on pending litigation. The union that represents correction officers has not returned News 12's calls for comment.

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