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Gloucester City News Headlines for July 14 issue

Glass Ceiling? | Philadelphia City Paper

In 2009, the Philadelphia Prisons System was on the lookout for a new deputy commissioner, the second-highest ranking official in that department, and Harriet Spencer believed she was the woman for the job.

Spencer, who is African-American, has a bachelor's degree, a master's in human services and a law degree from Temple. She had more than 30 years of experience in city prisons, serving in every position from corrections officer to lieutenant to her current job as executive director of the Office of Special Events/commissioner's special assistant. Under Mayor John Street, she even ascended to the head of the city's Office for the Reentry of Ex-Offenders.

This lawsuit, which hasn't been reported until now, marks the second time in the past year that a former high-ranking official has sued the city for gender discrimination. As reported in the Daily News last month, Sgt. Kimberly Byrd — who was once the top aide to former Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson — filed a lawsuit in July 2010 claiming that she was a victim of gender discrimination under current Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

According to the picture laid out in Spencer's lawsuit, sexism is...

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