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Ex-Fire Commissioner John Brooks says he was forced out, sues city

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

Former Chicago Fire Commissioner John Brooks filed a federal lawsuit against the city Friday claiming he was forced to resign last year after he was falsely accused of sexual harassment.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported in March 2010 that Brooks was accused of coming on to an female employee sexually and targeting her for layoff when she refused. In denying the charge, Brooks angered some at City Hall when he told the Sun-Times: “I do not proposition women. I don’t have to. Women usually proposition me. God has blessed me like that.”

That same month, the suit claims, Mayor Daley’s chief of staff, Raymond Orozco, told Brooks he was being put on paid leave pending an investigation. The suit claims Orozco later told Brooks, “Mayor Daley wants you out” and said if Brooks didn’t resign, he would be fired — destroying his reputation — or demoted — harming his pension.

An independent investigator determined in August that the allegations were false, the suit notes. A city spokeswoman said at the time that “Brooks’ behavior and comments were inappropriate’’ but did not violate city policy.

The five-count suit , which names the city of Chicago, Orozco and Daley, claims wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress and seeks unspecified damages and lost wages.

A spokeswoman for the city’s law department was unavailable for comment late Friday.

Allison Horton

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