Former Oak Bluffs EMT Lt. Rich Michelson, who is African American, has filed a lawsuit against the town of Oak Bluffs and former Fire Chief John Rose. Filed in February, the suit alleges lack of due process, discrimination, and retaliation. Among other things, Michelson’s suit alleges Michelson made attempts to spur an investigation into former Fire Chief John Rose’s alleged sexual harassment of “female subordinates.”
Michelson alleged Rose retaliated by using a faulty misconduct excuse to terminate him. The suit alleges Michelson endured loss of income, emotional distress, and “humiliation.” The suit seeks unspecified damages. Michelson couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Michelson’s attorney, Arthur Hardy-Doubleday, declined comment. Rose didn’t immediately respond to a text seeking comment. The Oak Bluffs select board took up the suit in executive session Tuesday night. Oak Bluffs select board chair Ryan Ruley didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail seeking comment.