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Springfield leaders 'concerned' by allegations MGM falsified diversity hiring data

The MGM Springfield casino from State Street.
Heather Brandon
The MGM casino in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The head of the Greater Springfield NAACP said allegations in a new lawsuit against MGM Springfield are concerning.

A former employee of the casino filed the suit. Chelan Brown said company officials retaliated against her after she raised concerns about fraudulent reports being submitted on diversity hiring to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Brown said she was demoted and eventually terminated.

Bishop Talbert Swan said if it turns out the claims are true, it would be unfortunate.

"We do have a host agreement that MGM has committed to meet certain levels in terms of its hiring," he said. "We were hopeful that they would meet those particular goals and if the assertions that they did meet or exceeded those goals were not based on actual facts, that is concerning and something that needs to be addressed."

Jesse Lederman, president of the Springfield City Council, said the allegations are serious and that state gambling regulators may need to tighten their oversight of the casino.

"The Massachusetts Gaming Commission should be reviewing their safeguards and verification policies with regards to this type of reporting," he said. "I also think they should consider doing an audit of past and future reporting to maintain public trust and confidence."

A spokesperson for the gaming commission said it prefers not to comment on ongoing legal matters, though it is reviewing the complaint. MGM also said it has no comment.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.