Spirit Lake Police Chief accused of sexual harassment

Spirit Lake Police Chief accused of sexual harassment

Spirit Lake Police Chief accused of sexual harassment

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by Katie Utehs

KREM.com

Posted on July 6, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 6 at 5:33 PM

SPIRIT LAKE-- A former Spirit Lake Police department employee says she was sexually harassed by the police chief.

A former Spirit Lake Police trainee is taking legal action against Police Chief Pat Lawless.

Crystal Sudol filed a notice of tort claim against lawless and the city of spirit lake. The notice claims lawless, "did sexually harass batter and assault [Sudol] while she was employed by Spirit Lake."

Other court documents outline the sexual harassment accusations starting in March of 2011.

Sudol worked as a police trainee and was required to ride in a police car with lawless. Sudol says lawless made sexual comments about her and other women while they were together.

Sudol also claims the chief touched her inappropriately while making her try on multiple bullet proof vests. The notice says Sudol brought her concerns to Mayor Todd Clary but says Clary and lawless are friends.

The documents say, "Clary negligently investigated the matter and negligently failed to take swift and appropriate remedial action."

We spoke with Clary last week, he said he couldn't comment then and was not in the office Friday.

Sudol left her job at the department not completing her training to become an officer.  If she files suit following the notice of tort claim she'll ask for $5 million.

Her attorney writes in the notice it would cover back pay, front pay, loss of benefits and damages for her emotional suffering and loss of career.

The post falls police department is investigating lawless, but won't comment on the nature of the investigation.

Lawless said he cannot comment because of the pending litigation.
 

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