ITHACA, N.Y. — A hearing regarding the suspended director of the Tompkins County Office of Human Rights is set to resume Friday. The hearing has been scheduled to determine if there is merit to the county’s charges against Karen Baer that allege she has not fulfilled her duties as director.
Baer was suspended in October after being charged with insubordination for not participating in an investigation into claims she made of discrimination. She has denied the claims against her and said in a previous statement that removing her from her post was in retaliation for her “repeated efforts to speak truth to power and to shine a light in dark corners.”
A hearing regarding the charges began Dec. 7. The hearing is open to the public.
Several people have testified in the hearing so far, including Tompkins County Legislature Chair Mike Lane and Deputy County Administrator Paula Younger. The hearing is expected to pick up where it left off, with the county’s representative cross-examining Baer. Baer began testifying Dec. 8, but John McCann, who is representing the county, asked for more time to prepare questions.
Hearing Officer Murry Solomon is presiding over the case. If ultimately found guilty of the charges, Baer could lose her job.
Baer is being represented by Andrew Celli and Zoe Salzman of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady, based in New York.
The hearing was initially set to resume Wednesday, but it was moved to Friday. Baer’s attorneys had also requested the hearing be moved to Downtown Ithaca to be more accessible, but it will take place in the same location. The hearing resumes at 9 a.m. Friday at the Rice Conference Room, County Health Department Building, Cornell Tech Park, 55 Brown Rd. in Ithaca.
Learn more about the case with previous coverage:
Correction— An earlier version of this story said the hearing began at 9:30 a.m.