Connecticut Parks Supervisor Fired for Harassing Coworker With Swastika

A supervisor in the parks department has been fired following a controversy over a swastika.

Greenwich officials said Thursday that Craig Whitcomb had been fired. Town officials said Whitcomb ordered a parks department worker to paint a swastika on the desk of another worker.

"This individual is a second level supervisor. It's up to the town supervisors to set an appropriate tone for town operations. This incident certainly failed that test," First Selectman Jim Lash said Thursday.

Whitcomb had been accused of harassing Otto Lauersdorf, a marine division foreman, about his German heritage and Lauersdorf's union had filed a grievance on June 7.

Lauersdorf has filed formal complaints against the town with the state's Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. In the two-page affidavit filed with the complaint, Lauersdorf said that he has been the victim of a hostile work environment for the past 16 months and had been called a Nazi.

Lauersdorf said that earlier this year he returned to a shed where he works at Grass Island to find a colorful 2-foot by 2-foot swastika painted on his desk.

Hank Walsh, who told town investigators that he was following Whitcomb's orders when he painted the swastika found on Otto Lauersdorf's desk, received a letter of reprimand in his personnel file.