Bartlesville police officer files her second lawsuit against city

A Bartlesville police officer who in June filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the City of Bartlesville filed a second lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday.

This lawsuit, the fourth filed against the city by Bartlesville Police Department officers this year, alleges a continued hostile work environment and discrimination.

According to the documents filed, among the grievances listed supporting the complaint of a continuing hostile work environment is the allegation that city, through its Chief of Police and other supervising police officers, has continued to ignore its own policy and procedures, its contract with the F.O.P. and its terms, "particularly to the detriment of the Plaintiff and to the benefit of white male officers, and thereby created a hostile work environment."

In her lawsuit, Officer Beth Mitchell said the police chief sent her a copy of an inappropriate e-mail "which made fun of hostile work environment complaints."

Additionally, she recounted one incident when the police chief announced to those standing in the squad room he had hired a female officer "and sarcastically stated 'and this one is a sharp one,' implying that other female officers currently working at the Bartlesville Police Department were not intelligent."

Under her complaint of discrimination, she said she had been wrongfully accused of speeding down a county road on her way to work and then was lectured about the public perception of police officers and her responsibilities. However, when it was "determined by the Plaintiff that in fact it had been a white male officer who had been speeding down the county road, Plaintiff's Captain was advised and he did nothing further with the white male officer who was actually at fault."

Mitchell alleged a supervisor recommended a male officer less educated and experienced than herself be promoted over her to a position "to a position he knew he was to vacate within days upon his own retirement."

She said that in retaliation for her attempts to correct the work environment, and specifically the filing of a complaint and the filing of her lawsuit, she has "reason to believe that her departmental use of police computers is being tracked."

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff is seeking $500,000 in actual damages and $500,000 in punitive damages.

Monday morning the police chief was not available for comment.


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