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Former Fort McMurray fire chief accused of harassment in earlier Calgary jobs

Last Updated Feb 14, 2020 at 12:58 pm MST

Fort McMurray fire chief Darby Allen speaks to members of the media at a fire station in Fort McMurray, Monday, May 9, 2016. The former Fort McMurray fire chief hailed by some as a hero for his role in battling a massive 2016 wildfire has been accused of sexually harassing a female subordinate during his previous job in Calgary's fire department. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Rachel La Corte

CALGARY — A former Alberta fire chief hailed by many as a hero for his role in battling the massive 2016 wildfire in Fort McMurray has been accused of sexually harassing a female subordinate during previous jobs in Calgary.

The allegations against Darby Allen date back to around 2002 and have not been proven in court.

The woman filed a statement of claim in the Alberta Court of Queen’s bench in 2018 alleging that Allen made sexually charged comments, groped her and became hostile when she made plans with other men.

The claim also alleges the City of Calgary knew Allen was abusing his power and allowed him unfettered authority over the woman, who is several years his junior.

The document says a city investigation ultimately led to Allen being fired.

In a statement of defence filed last May, Allen denied the allegations and said the matter was settled when the woman accepted compensation and signed a release.

The woman told the CBC, which first reported on the lawsuit, that wasn’t the case.

The city said in its statement of defence that the court has no authority to hear the claim and asked that the suit be dismissed with costs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Feb. 13, 2020

The Canadian Press