The Denver District Attorney’s Office fired back at a former top prosecutor who earlier this year claimed she was paid less than her male colleagues as part of systemic gender discrimination at the office, according to newly filed court records.
Attorneys for Denver District Attorney Beth McCann denied ex-Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney Adrienne Greene’s allegations that she was wrongly paid less than her male counterparts and portrayed Greene’s pay disparity lawsuit as opportunistic, baseless and false.
“She only filed this lawsuit on her way out the door, after several failed attempts to extract an enhanced retirement package,” attorney Meghan Martinez wrote in a July 19 motion to dismiss some of Greene’s claims.
Greene, a 25-year veteran of the district attorney’s office, was hired in 1996 and resigned in January. She claimed in the lawsuit that she was paid between $27,000 and $38,000 less annually than two male colleagues, who performed similar work, over five years between 2017 and 2021, and also said she was retaliated against and denied a supervisory role because she spoke up about a hostile work environment.
McCann’s attorneys denied that Greene’s work was comparable to the two male colleagues and denied that the difference in pay was unlawful.
A spokeswoman for McCann’s office declined to comment further Monday.
Greene’s attorney, Ben Lebsack, said that Greene stands by her allegations, and he disagreed with the district attorney’s characterization of the lawsuit.
“If you were in a situation where you had been paid less because you were a woman for 20-plus years and you were at the end of your career and had complete information on what your retirement would look like compared to your male colleagues who did the same work as you during that time, and you realized you’d be paid something like $800,000 less than them during your retirement, you would probably try to remedy that situation as well,” he said.
The attorneys for the district attorney’s office also sought the immediate dismissal of Greene’s retaliation claims, saying in court filings that Greene raised complaints about “unequal pay” more than two years before the supervisory role was given to someone else, and that Greene’s subsequent complaints came after the role was filled.
Greene also claimed the district attorney’s office subjected her to an “unfounded internal investigation purportedly stemming from a complaint made by a victim advocate” in 2019 as part of the retaliation.
That internal investigation stemmed from a “threat” that Greene made to a victim advocate when the advocate did not have a witness ready to testify during a trial, Martinez wrote in the motion to dismiss. The advocate and another person complained about Greene’s behavior, describing it as “demeaning,” “controlling” and “being a bully,” the district attorney’s office said.
Greene was at the time not formally disciplined, but was given a written memo in which she was reminded to treat employees with respect, to “avoid sarcasm” and to “not loudly yell,” among other admonishments.
Greene claimed in her complaint that the victim advocate was “bullied” into reporting Greene by other top leaders in the district attorney’s office.
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