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Ex-worker files discrimination complaint against Auburn Community Hospital, former doctor

An ex-worker at Auburn Community Hospital's intensive care unit this week filed a complaint against the hospital with the state Division of Human Rights alleging sexual discrimination and a hostile work environment.

The complaint, from Dan Dennis Jr., who worked as a nurse practitioner at the ICU from July 2017 to July 2018, primarily involves complaints against former ACH physician Dr. Jeremy Barnett, the same doctor accused of misconduct — including behavior that endangered patients — in two lawsuits already filed by former ACH doctors.

The law firm representing Dennis, Gattuso & Ciotoli, of Fayetteville, is the same firm representing both doctors in those suits.

Barnett no longer works at the hospital. The hospital's administration, in both a letter to The Citizen from CEO Scott Berlucchi and in prepared statements, have denied that patient care was ever compromised, and noted that the state approved a corrective plan required after a review related to Barnett's behavior. It has also characterized the lawsuits as "unproven" allegations.

Hospital officials could not be reached Wednesday for comment on this story.

According to Dennis' complaint, while working as Barnett's “right-hand-man,” Dennis said he was subjected to “numerous acts of sexual harassment, unwarranted public ridicule, and demeaning conduct in the workplace,” something the complaint said was never investigated or responded to by hospital administration.

Instances of sexual harassment from Barnett described in the complaint include making derisive sexual remarks about patients Barnett and Dennis were treating, making “unprofessional and discomforting” comments about his own sex life, and spreading rumors that the pair were dating.

The Citizen:
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