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Former security head at nightclub claims business discriminated against minorities

Updated: December 29, 2012 1:45AM

A former head of security for a River North nightclub is suing his former employers, alleging racial discrimination and a hostile work environment.

Samusi Adelekan claims that The Underground, a nightclub owned by William “Billy” Dec, refused entry or provided inferior service to certain African-American and Latino patrons because they did not fit the “UG look,” according to a federal lawsuit filed Friday.

Employees at the nightclub used the terms “big and dark” and “ghetto” to refer to African-American and Latino patrons attempting to get into the club, the suit claims.

The club denies any wrong doing.

According to the suit, Adelekan complained to management in February about the club’s “racist practices.” In April, he was told he had to take a $10,000 pay cut without benefits and when he refused, he was fired.

Adelekan claims he was fired because he complained about the discrimination and hostile work environment.

The suit names Billy Dec and Arturo Gomez, owners of the club, as defendants along with Rockit Ranch Productions, Dana Dedina, Ben Newby, and Nick and Howard LLC.

“Although we have not yet had the opportunity to review the complaint, we categorically deny any wrong doing whatsoever,” said Gomez in a statement. “We look forward to the opportunity to defend ourselves against what we believe to be nothing more than baseless falsehoods made by a former disgruntled employee.”

The suit asks a judge to issue an injunction restraining the defendants from discriminating based on race and an unspecified amount in damages.

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