Monday’s news that the former director of Delaware County’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion office has filed a discrimination complaint against the county comes one month after the county settled another suit in which another different former employee alleged he had been discriminated against.

Hector Figueroa, the former assistant director of labor relations for Delaware County filed a lawsuit in February 2023, alleging he was wrongly fired after he investigated allegations that the county’s purchasing director harassed and bullied one of her employees.

Federal court records show Figueroa and the county settled the suit in the first week of March this year. Terms of the settlement were undisclosed, however, and neither Figueroa’s attorney nor the county would provide any further details. As such, it remains unclear if either side “won” the contest — whether Figueroa felt he got some kind of just compensation for his dismissal, or if the county was perhaps able to persuade Figueroa and his attorneys to drop the case quickly.

When Broad + Liberty first reported on the lawsuit, a county spokeswoman had only said, “The County believes the claims in the lawsuit are without merit, and will be vigorously defending the matter in court.”

Settlement of the previous matter becomes more important now with the current complaint filed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by Lauren Footman, the county’s former DEI director, because both allege that then-Chief Administrative Officer Marc Woolley was at the heart of the unjust or illegal behavior.

And as the Inquirer’s report on Footman’s EEOC complaint noted, “Woolley, 55, has been the subject of controversy in other high-profile local government jobs he’s held.”

Figueroa claimed that his co-worker, purchasing agent Franklin Fitzgerald, had been harassed by his boss, Lisa Jackson, who was the purchasing director. Figueroa went on in his lawsuit to say he investigated the issue, and when his conclusions supported Fitzgerald over Jackson, he was fired for those actions.

In depositions filed in the matter, several county employees including Woolley, said that Figueroa’s investigation was incomplete because he failed to interview Jackson to get her side of the story.

According to the Inquirer, “Woolley spent nearly a year as Delaware County’s chief administrative officer and returned to his role as deputy executive director in January, when the County Council appointed a new executive director.”

Todd Shepherd is Broad + Liberty’s chief investigative reporter. Send him tips at, or use his encrypted email at @shepherdreports

One thought on “Delco complaint by former DEI director comes weeks after county settled discrimination suit”

  1. How is it such that any PA county, any of the 67 counties, would be able to settle a lawsuit and the terms of said settlement would be undisclosed to the public? Full stop.

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