Former staffer sues Sen. Wendy Rogers

Sen. Wendy Rogers speaking to the Cottonwood Oathkeepers in March 2021./Photo via Twitter/@WendyRogersAZ

Lawsuit alleges abuse and wrongful termination over COVID-19 case

By Jerod McDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

Dec. 21,2021

Flagstaff Republican Wendy Rogers’ former assistant is suing the senator and the state, alleging wrongful termination, assault and emotional distress stemming from a series of alleged incidents that occurred earlier this year.

Michael Polloni, in the lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court on Monday, repeated many of the same claims that were part of an ethics complaint that was dismissed alleging a hostile work environment.

In December of 2020, Polloni had come down with COVID-19 and was told to self-isolate, per the Arizona Department of Administration guidelines, for 10 days. Rogers questioned whether or not Polloni was actually sick, saying her “bulls*** detector is going off,” according to the suit obtained by the Arizona Mirror.

When Polloni returned to work he found that his belongings had been placed into drawers and “one item of particular personal importance was damaged,” the complaint says. Later that day Senate pages arrived to help hang things on the walls and when asked if Polloni had anything to hang, Rogers allegedly said that he could not do so and that they’d speak privately about it.

During the private conversation, Rogers allegedly accused Polloni of faking his illness to get out of work and began raising her voice. When Polloni requested that an executive assistant be present, Rogers refused. Polloni went to open the door but Rogers was “now screaming at him” and as the other executive assistant approached, Rogers slammed the door shut, “nearly crushing (Polloni’s) hand in the door.”

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