LINCOLN–(KFOR & 10/11 Now Apr. 22)–A lawsuit against the city has been filed by a 20-year veteran of the Lincoln Police Department, alleging she suffered years of sex discrimination and a hostile work environment.
According to a report from KFOR’s media partner, 10/11 Now, Officer Melissa Ripley in the lawsuit said LPD’s command staff and other City officials were aware or should have been aware of the hostile work environment and discrimination and failed to take appropriate remedial measures. Acting Police Chief Brian Jackson and Narcotics Task Force supervisor Chris Peterson are named in the lawsuit.
The report also says Jackson and Peterson began investigating Ripley two years ago (April 2019), who said she was unaware of the investigation until her husband, an LPD detective, told her, which was contrary to LPD’s protocol for internal investigations. She said the timing of the investigation was suspicious because five months earlier she provided deposition testimony in support of another officer in a case against the City. Ripley’s testimony was critical of Peterson, who was investigating her without her knowledge.
Ripley is asking to be compensated for back pay, front pay, loss of earning capacity, loss of reputation, compensatory damages, consequential damages in amounts to be proven at trial.
The lawsuit is the second that claims discrimination against women within the Lincoln Police Department in recent months. Former officer Sarah Williams filed a discrimination lawsuit against the department in November of 2020, alleging discrimination and harassment based on her gender.