Most people in New Jersey and all across the United States know that sexual harassment is never acceptable. But it seems more disheartening when those who are most trusted to uphold the law violate that trust. A whistleblower retaliation lawsuit filed against the New Jersey attorney general's office accuses that a police officer faced harsh consequences for reporting sexual harassment allegations.
According to the sergeant, who was employed by the office, said he was stripped of his lieutenant's rank for not sticking up for a fellow police officer in an internal affairs investigation. According to the sergeant, several detectives had come to him to inform him that another lieutenant had been sexually harassing some female employees.
The sergeant informed his superior officer, who said that he would file the necessary complaints to the proper agency. But after transferring the lieutenant in question and trying to keep the matter quiet, it was discovered the superior never reported the allegations.
When the sergeant spoke of this with internal affairs investigators, he was allegedly the subject of retaliation from his superior, including several transfers. The sergeant was allegedly told by a deputy attorney general that he should mend fences with his superior officer because it would lead to career trouble. There is no word of why the deputy attorney general failed to act to resolve the situation.
The lawsuit claims that he is suffering from depression. He is seeking compensation for medical expenses, mental anguish, and losses suffered by not being promoted.
Situations like this should never happen. Not only was the whistleblower harmed in this case, but many women who were harassed and afraid to come forward were denied justice.
Source: The Trentonian, "Lawsuit against NJ Attorney General's Office alleges sexual harassment, retaliation," David Foster, May 15, 2013