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Southampton Village mayor faces discrimination lawsuit

Thomas Kienzle

The mayor of Southampton Village on Long Island has been sued for age and gender discrimination. A village employee claims Mayor Jesse Warren created a hostile work environment.

Charlene Kagel-Betts, 62 years old, said the mayor sent her harassing emails, removed her from meetings, rearranged her job duties and harmed her reputation, according to court documents. She claimed the mayor’s "abusive conduct” turned her life into a “living hell.”

Mayor Jesse Warren denied the allegations to Newsday, saying a prior investigation already determined that the discrimination claims were unfounded.

Kagel-Betts, who manages the village’s budget, also claims that the mayor’s interactions with a vendor were unethical and against the law. Warren denied those claims.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.