Federal judge dismisses discrimination suit brought by former Pittsburgh police payroll clerk

March 21, 2018 GMT

A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former Pittsburgh police payroll clerk who alleged the city placed her on administrative leave and forced her retirement because of her race.

Kim Montgomery, 65, who is black, was one of three police department employees placed on paid administrative leave in 2013 during a federal investigation into former police Chief Nate Harper.

Montgomery, of the Hill District, claimed in the lawsuit that a city official informed her that she was suspended because of the federal investigation.

Her attorney, Joel Sansone, said Montgomery had no involvement in the Harper scandal and was never questioned by federal authorities.

“I could not be more disappointed with this result,” he said. “My client deserved better than this from everyone involved. Nevertheless, she has moved on with her life, and with God’s help, she will find the peace that has been denied her in the courts.”

Federal authorities indicted Harper on charges of conspiracy and failure to file tax returns. He was accused of diverting $72,628 in police department funds to a private bank account and spending just under $32,000 of it on personal items.

He pleaded guilty in 2013 and served 14 months of an 18-month prison sentence.

Montgomery, who worked for the city for 37 years, claimed the city refused to let her return to work and essentially forced her retirement in 2014.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312, bbauder@tribweb.com or on Twitter @bobbauder.