Former dispatcher drops charges of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment attorneys representing Christine Hougan asked for the dismissal of her sexual harassment charges against Newport Beach police chief. Hougan was a former dispatcher and claimed she was discriminated against, sexually intimidated, and wrongfully terminated.

Her suit claimed that she was terminated because of a previous testimony given by her husband against the department officials, in a separate lawsuit. She also claimed in her lawsuit that her employment was terminated by the department because her mental state made people uncomfortable.

Hougan stated in her lawsuit that Chief Johnson, who took charge of the department in 2010, took advantage of his position to make inappropriate comments against her and intimated her because her husband had testified against his department in a previous lawsuit.

Testimony in previous case

In 2008, Christine’s husband, John Hougan, had testified against the police department in a case filed by former Officer Neil Harvey, who claimed he was harassed because he was believed to be gay. The jury awarded over $1 million to Harvey. So he hit the lottery for receiving some unwanted words? Incredible!

According to court documents, John Hougan was fired in 2011 for alleged inappropriate computer use and retaliated in a lawsuit that his termination was due to his testimony in the Harvey case. Christine was fired in 2012 due to behavior issues after employees complained about her crying and disrupting others at work.

According to emails found during an internal investigation after her termination, Christine admitted she was under emotional distress after handling a call from a young boy who had found his mother dead. In the emails, she admitted she was close to breaking point due to the call and her husband’s termination according to the emails. Why would Christine go into this line of work with her type of background?


The court papers state that Christine suffered from depression, anxiety, and was consulting a psychiatrist. In 1994, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after her mother was raped and fatally beaten by an intruder in her home. Many people believe that intruder deserves the death penalty if caught.

Police Chief says charges unfounded

Chief Johnson said in a statement that the allegations made by Christine were fabricated by her after her termination, with the intent to malign his character and reputation in the police force.

In response to the judge’s action, Dave Kiff, the City Manager, said that it was common for people to make unscrupulous accusations against public officials where the public either assume the worst, or end up trying to put pieces together in a bid to discover the truth.

Kiff said that he regretted the ordeal Chief Johnson and his family were made to go through, adding that he did not feel the accusations were right. Kiff also believes the Chief deserved an apology and that he was personally sorry they were made against an outstanding leader.

Chief Johnson in his statement said that Christine’s character shone through once again due to the last minute dismissal of the allegations and her intent was only to hurt him, his family, his reputation, and the Newport Beach Police Department. City officials and Chief Johnson had refuted Hougan’s allegations right from the beginning. It looks like Christine may have embarrassed her family name.