Calif. Police Win $3.5M Harassment Case
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A jury awarded $3.5 million Monday to three female police officers who said they were groped, propositioned and exposed to pornography by co-workers and supervisors who later retaliated against them.
The jury of eight men and four women found that members of the Glendale department, in suburban Los Angeles, created a hostile and discriminatory work environment while failing to prevent harassment.
They awarded Officer Katie Frieders $850,000, Officer Jamie Franke $1,361,250 and Officer Renae Kerner $1,305,176 for lost wages and benefits.
Frieders and Kerner have remained on the force since filing the lawsuit. Franke was on maternity leave at the time and has not been allowed to return to work pending the outcome of a worker’s compensation claim.
Lawyer Brad Gage said the jury delivered a message with its verdict.
``Treat people fairly. Don’t let this happen again,″ Gage said.
Glendale attorney Irma Rodriguez Moisa said the department took the allegations seriously _ even though some of the alleged misconduct occurred as far back as 13 years ago. She said she would be meeting with city officials to consider post-trial motions and an appeal.