On Oct. 2, a mediator and representatives of the town met with the attorney of one former and three former Parsippany clerk's office employee who say they are moving forward with a long-threatened $4 million suit against the town and Johnson for allowing a hostile work environment, NJ.com reported.
The legal action covers clerk's office employees' allegations that Johnson used racial and sexual language in the office and that the administration did nothing to protect the women after they filed a grievance during the woman's first week on the job in August 2011. Johnson filed a grievance in return, charging the employees with harassing her and the town with not protecting her from the workers' alleged insubordination and hostility. Both grievances were dismissed by town administration.
By February 2012, Johnson and former township worker Tonae Bettelli had left their positions, both citing medical reasons.
In August 2012, a settlement between the township and Johnson was reached, with Johnson receiving a lump sum payment of $200,000 (half paid for by the town, the other half by insurance).
Township Attorney John Inglesino told NJ.com that nothing resulted from the Oct. 2 mediation and said that the administration had investigated the office workers' allegations and found them to be "baseless."
In the suit by Bettelli and current employees Leslie Miller, Cara Fox and Janet Zorsky, Johnson allegedly talked with each separately and made comments about working in a "lily-white town and [being] the token black," threatened Bettelli and asked a mentally disabled who in the office he thought was sexy.
The women also say the Barberio administration ignored their grievances. The court filing includes a story that describes Mayor James Barberio verbally accosting Miller after she filed a grievance, reportedly yelling, "I'm sick of this [expletive]."
According to the suit, Barberio's personal secretary told clerk's worker Zorsky that the mayor was "sick" of the women and "had enough," the article said.
Johnson could not be reached for comment.