Five Bridgeton Police Department employees have filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in Superior Court against Angel Santiago, a sergeant with the department. According to PressofAtlanticCity.com, his brother, Luis, is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit filed by the sexual harassment attorneys representing the women.
Harassed on multiple occasions; Brett Favre is his hero
In their lawsuit, the women employees allege they were sexually harassed on more than 70 occasions by Angel Santiago. They claim that while their arms were rested on their chairs he would rub his penis against their hands. On some occasions he touched their breasts and attempted to kiss them. Angel is also said to have openly bragged about his sexual escapades by showing videos of girls on his cell phone. The women also claim that he showed them pictures of his penis.
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Police department seem to protect male colleagues
The five plaintiffs are dispatchers Carolyn Dover and Deanne Laing, administrative secretary Kelly Queen, detective Veronica Cheeseman, and Sergeant Deena Bertolini, an 11 year old veteran in the department. According to the sexual harassment attorney representing the women, they were interviewed by the Police Department as part of an internal investigation in July 2013, following which Santiago was suspended three months later.
A settlement was reached following court proceedings while Police Chief Michael Gaimari confirmed that Santiago was not working in the department since his suspension. The attorney also claims that none of the other sergeants reported Santiago even though they witnessed his behavior towards the five women on several occasions over the years.
In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs also allege that Sgt. Luis Santiago, Angel’s brother, also working in the same department retaliated against them after the disciplinary action. They claim he made false complaints about them, refused to send other police officers who were free at the time to represent calls for female police officers, and also spoke to them in a humiliating tone. Also listed as defendants is the city, which the plaintiffs claim failed to protect them from the Santiago brothers. Angel Santiago also has a case of domestic violence against him, for which he was charged with simple assault in March 2012.
Former Rockland County Jail female employee sues for sexual harassment
In other sexual harassment news reported by Lohud.com, former Rockland jail officer Valerie Russell has filed a lawsuit alleging that she was the target of sexual taunts from male colleagues. In her lawsuit, Russell claims that they also spread rumors of her having slept with many of them, which were indeed false. She alleges they called her the new jailhouse whore. Russell also claims that the indifferent attitude of now jail chief Anthony Volpe in February 2013, following her complaint and subsequent internal investigation, where Volpe found her charges unsubstantiated, compelled her to resign in October 2013.
According to Russell’s attorney, who has incidentally represented and won settlements for other female corrections officers, the EEOC or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determined that there were legitimate grounds for Russell to file the lawsuit.
The lawsuit names Sheriff Louis Falco, jail chief Anthony Volpe and County Executive Ed Day as defendants. Russell seeks compensation for damages, loss of wages, and legal fees. She has also called for changes to be made at the jail in order to protect female officers from such incidents in the future. Meanwhile, Russell is employed in law enforcement outside of Rockland County.