Two female deputies and one female sergeant attached to the King County Sheriff’s Office in Washington have filed sexual harassment lawsuits against department, as reported by The Seattle Times. The deputies claim that their case was similar to another case which the County settled for $1 million.
More unhappy personnel
Incidentally, that lawsuit too was filed by three other female deputies from the same department. The complaints are targeted at their supervisors in the Metro division and Shoreline precinct. They could have easily read the pivotal information on sexual harassment in the state of Washington which is right here. Now they have Washington sexual harassment attorneys putting in work for them.
One of the plaintiffs, Sgt. Diana Neff, 50, a gay woman who has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1987 said that female officers were expected to sit back and tolerate discrimination and sexual harassment. In her lawsuit, Neff claims her reputation was spotless until the arrival of Major Shawn Ledford, who was on the force for a long time and was made chief in 2012.
According to the Washington sexual harassment attorney representing the three plaintiffs, if no attempt was made to settle the claims of up to $3 million in each case, they would go ahead and file a new lawsuit claiming that the Sheriff’s Office engaged in discrimination, retaliation and harassment, which continued after the earlier settlement.
County settles previous sexual harassment case for $1 million
According to King County, Washington Sheriff John Urquhart, investigations were being conducted following allegations by the three female deputies through neutral, independent investigator. He claimed that appropriate discipline and corrective action would then be taken or else they will defend themselves in court. Sheriff Urquhart inherited the previous case in which the plaintiffs from the Special Assault Unit alleged that the unit witnessed various incidents of sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and rough conduct.
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The county paid a total of $1 million to the three plaintiffs but did not admit any liability. The new lawsuit filed by Neff and Deputies Julie Blessum and Amy Shoblom last September and seeks between $2.5 million and $3 million each in damages.
Several allegations made in lawsuit
According to Seattlepi.com, the lawsuit outlines several allegations. Shoblom claims that Sergeant Dewey Burn sexually harassment her in several ways. This included using a hand sanitizer to draw male genitalia on her patrol car and betting on her cheating on her husband. Shoblom claims that he would constantly text her photos of scantily-clad women and repeatedly discussed his sex life.
He also accused her of hooking up with other deputies. When the plaintiff reported the matter to KCSO authorities, Shoblom was further taunted and retaliated against, and was subjected to a series of investigations by command staff. She was ordered by the KCSO to hand over her personal cell phone without any search warrant and was examined more as the problem or the offender in an eight hour long interview.
Plaintiffs Neff and Blessum had similar allegations against the King County, Washington, Sheriff’s Office supervisors. The lawsuit details accusations against Sheriff Urquhart when he was a sergeant, who the plaintiffs claim engaged in hostile and sexist behavior towards female deputies. He allegedly demanded that sexual assault calls be handled only by female deputies and did not allow female deputies to partner with each other. Now they have Washington sexual harassment lawyers representing them.
According to records, many of these allegations were deemed frivolous although Urquhart was ordered to evaluation and training to correct his behavior. The defendants in the case include Sgt. Dewey Burns, Major Shawn Ledford, and Sgt. Chad DeVore.