SITKA — The former superintendent of Sitka National Historical Park who was terminated for the second time last month has filed a lawsuit over allegations of gender and racial discrimination.
Mary Miller was terminated Dec. 31 from the National Park Service in accordance with a September ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals, the Sitka Sentinel reported.
Miller was head of the park from 2008 until 2010, when the National Park Service reassigned Miller to a new position in Anchorage as Alaska Native Affairs Liaison. Miller was fired after rejecting the assignment.
In her lawsuit, Miller claims she was told the newly created position involving Alaska Native affairs was a voluntary assignment. She said she then received a memorandum containing a "directed reassignment" and a notice that she would be terminated if she did not accept the post.
After she was fired, she appealed to the federal Merit Systems Protection Board. She claimed her firing was driven by discrimination based on her gender and race under the Civil Rights Act and her physical disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
An administrative law judge upheld Miller's termination, but the merit board reversed that decision. She was reinstated as superintendent of Sitka National Historical Park on April 13, 2013.
The suit said the board's reversal "was based, in part, on its conclusion that the defendant's actions were pretextual and a veil to effect plaintiff's separation from the federal service."
The Park Service asked the appeals court in 2013 to review the board's decision. The court ruled in favor of the federal agency on Sept. 2, 2015 and called for the administrative law judge's initial decision on Miller's termination to be reinstated.
Miller was notified that her termination was to take effect immediately on Dec. 31.
Miller is seeking a jury trial as well as back pay and legal fees.