The state agency investigating charges of gender discrimination against the all-made Fly Club has asked the club to answer a new set of questions, and with that information it could wrap up the case, an official of the quasi-judicial body said yesterday.
Kathleen M. Allen, the commissioner at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) who will ultimately decide the case, said yesterday that the commission had made what she thought would be the last batch of "interrogatories"--requests for information. Previous MCAD orders had asked for more detail on the original interrogatories sent out after Lisa J. Schkolnick '88 filed her complaint against the final club last December.
The commission sent the club a letter earlier this month asking whether the club serves alcohol at its parties and how employees are hired, said Kevin G. Baker, the lawyer for the woman who filed the complaint.
The request also included queries about the club's tax status, the way it lets freshman know about its existence, whether the club is rented out for parties and whether it is on Harvard's Centrex phone system or has a mailbox on campus.
When Harvard officially severed ties to the Fly and the eight other final clubs four years ago, the clubs lost the right to use Centrex service and University steam heat.
Baker, who received a copy of MCAD's letter last week, said the document set the deadline for filing this information at November 30. In the past, the club has stalled in supplyingrequested materials.
The information sought in the latestinterrogatories are more pointed than in previousrequests, Baker said. And while MCAD may alreadyknow some of the answers, the lawyer said, "Theywant the answers to be part of the record."
Although Allen refused to comment on the natureof the questions, she said that the commission didnot plan further interrogatories.
"We'll be expecting to make a final analysisafter we get that information," Allen said, addingthat she expected the club's response "shortly."
In the letter, MCAD also stated that it wouldnot rule on a motion to dismiss filed by the clublast August until after it had completed itsinvestigation. The club had questioned thevalidity of the case and MCAD's jurisdiction overit.
Several similar motions were denied by MCADlast spring, and at that time Baker called them astalling tactic to distract the commission.
Baker said that postponing a decision on thisdismissal motion frees MCAD to spend time oninvestigation, instead of legal analysis. "This isan effort to get back at investigation."
Allen said that such a postponement is normallymade on a case-by-case basis, saying, "There isn'tany normal procedure on that kind of issue."
Fly Club attorney Casimir de Rham '46 could notbe reached for comment