Meteorologist Fired for Racial Slur Sues City, Mayor

Jeremy Kappell claims defamation from the city of Rochester, NY, and Mayor Lovely Warren
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2019 7:17 AM CST

He's already sued the TV station that fired him for uttering a racial slur on the air in January; now a meteorologist has filed a lawsuit against the city of Rochester, NY, and its mayor. Per the Democrat and Chronicle, Jeremy Kappell is suing the city and Mayor Lovely Warren, claiming Warren's "public condemnation and pressure" on WHEC in the hours after the Jan. 4 broadcast led to the station canning him two days later. Kappell hasn't wavered from his insistence that what he said on air was an unintentional "linguistic error" from speaking too quickly and that WHEC fired him "prior to conducting any real investigation into the situation." He also says in his suit that Warren publicly said Kappell's use of the racial term was intentional and that the defendants have caused him "great pain and anguish," marred his reputation, and hurt his career.

"Because of [Warren's] actions, my family and I have suffered greatly these past many months and unfortunately she has taken zero responsibility and has shown no willingness to move towards a resolution. She left us with no other option," Kappell writes about the suit on his blog. A lawyer for the city issued a statement to WROC that said Kappell's allegations "are contradictory to the sworn statements made by Jeremy in my office on May 14, 2019" and that "he was fired before the mayor and the City Council president issued any public statement regarding his racial slur." The Democrat and Chronicle notes that Kappell was reportedly fired two days after the broadcast, with a statement from Warren put out that evening. The next hearing in Kappell's suit against WHEC will take place in December, per WHAM. (MLK's daughter and Al Roker both thought Kappell's firing was too harsh.)

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