The town of Berlin eliminated $600-thousand in funding effective today for its volunteer fire company because of alleged workplace harassment.
Berlin Mayor Gee Williams called it “a culture of intolerance and ignorance...that the city would not be part of.”
The allegations include harassment of paramedics by both their colleagues and the Fire Company volunteers involving sexual orientation, race and sex.
The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the paramedics allege that the harassment has been going on for months with one man subjected to slurs about his sexual orientation.
The paper says that Joe Moore, the attorney for the Berlin Fire Company, denied that the town’s decision to cut funding was about harassment allegations but rather over operational and scheduling issues.
The town funds around a third of the Fire Company’s budget.