The town of Reminderville and its police chief recently came under fire in a lawsuit alleging it discriminated against and harassed one of its former officers.
The town of Reminderville and its police chief were named in a lawsuit earlier this week over allegations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. The suit was filed by Cara Wilson, a former police officer who was allegedly fired after she complained about the harassment and discrimination to management. According to Wilson’s lawyer, Brian Spitz, she left a higher-paying job to pursue a career as a Reminderville police officer. He said, “It was her childhood dream to one day do this.”
However, even before landing the job, Wilson began noticing something odd about Police Chief Jefferey Buck. For starters, the suit claims the hiring process “began awkwardly with Buck asking her to appear at his home for an additional interview.” It turns out, Buck allegedly told her that his then-girlfriend had to meet her, even though “male prospective officers were not required to interview with Buck’s girlfriend.” The suit also alleges that other law enforcement officers tried to warn Wilson “that Buck had a history of trying to sleep with the help.”
She was hired in 2017 and not long into her new job, Wilson began experiencing discrimination and harassment. The suit alleges “Buck demanded he go through her phone.” While doing so, “he commented on pictures he found of her, saying he was picturing her naked.” Additionally, the suit claims Buck “embarrassed her in front of others when he found out she was dating an older officer from another department.” When commenting on that particular incident, Spitz said:
“He kept making comments about having sex or wanting to have sex, talking about her personal life, talking about directly saying, ‘This is not how I pictured you naked,’ and talked about picturing somebody naked. She put up with this for a long time just to do the job and she would have continued to put up with it reporting it and opposing it but they fired her for her opposition to it.”
Appalled by the inappropriate behavior, Wilson began logging her complaints about the treatment and took her complaints to management. Instead of supporting her, the department allegedly “moved to terminate Wilson, without ever formally disciplining her for anything, violating its own policy.” To make matters worse, the city even passed a resolution to fire her, claiming “she had been dishonest.”
“That one word, just putting that one word in there prevents any other police department from hiring her, because it will be used against her by any potential criminal defendant in court. It would keep her from testifying in court.”
In filing the lawsuit, Spitz is hoping it will prevent similar cases from happening in the future. Additionally, he noted that even though Wilson was fired from the department, she hopes to “continue her career in law enforcement eventually.” For now, she is working as a volunteer so she can “keep up with her certifications.”