Lesbian fire-fighter launches discrimination case against boss, who is also her former lover

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A lesbian fire-fighter has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the fire chief of Minneapolis Tuesday, a woman who happens to be the fire-fighter’s former domestic partner.

Captain Jennifer Cornell launched her claim in Minneapolis, USA District Court against Chief Bonnie Bleskachek. Ms Cornell named the city as a co-defendant.

In her claim, Ms Cornell claims Ms Bleskachek stood in the way of her training opportunities and on the job advancement through “a history of animosity, ill-will, malice and bad faith conduct.”

The claims seeks an end what Ms Cornell terms as discrimination and award her $75,000 in damages.

Minneapolis Mayor R T Rybak is also caught up in the legal battle, having appointed Ms Bleskachek as chief in November 2004. The mayor’s spokesperson said she was unable to commenton ongoing litigation.

Ms Bleskachek, one of the America’s few openly gay fire chiefs, oversees a staff of 450 and a budget of $43 million.

Ms Cornell also claims in her suit that Ms Bleskachek was violent throughout their relationship. The two were registered domestic partners from 1996 to 2001 and share custody of two children.

Together, Ms Bleskachek and Ms Cornell co-founded the Minnesota Women Firefighters Association.