Fishers City Council hires firm to probe discrimination claims against city clerk

The Fishers City Council has hired a "third-party firm" to investigate allegations that City Clerk Jennifer Kehl violated the federal law that prohibits employment discrimination.

The council released a written statement Thursday afternoon saying it became aware May 10 of "several" allegations by current and former employees that Kehl violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion.

The statement gave no details about the allegations, and the council said it would not provide further comment until the investigation is complete to respect due process for all parties involved.

“The City Council takes every allegation of discrimination and harassment very seriously and immediately acted to provide workplace accommodations,” the council said in the statement.

The clerk is a separately elected official, but state law gives the council authority to investigate the office and the clerk.

In an email to IBJ, Kehl said she has not been made aware of any specific allegations made against her. She added that she has not done anything wrong.

“I am confident I will be found innocent of the allegations, as that is not who I am,” she wrote.

Kehl was elected as the city’s first clerk in November 2014, just prior to Fishers changing from a town to city. She is responsible for managing city records, maintaining city ordinances and minutes from city meetings, and responding to requests for public information.

She just recently won a Republican primary for her position, in which she was challenged by Jackie Bowen. Kehl handedly won the race with nearly 66% of the vote.

When asked how the council became aware of the allegations and which firm has been hired to investigate, Ashley Elrod, the city’s public relations director, said the city would not discuss the investigation while it was ongoing.

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