Cop Says She Was Busted|for Giving Reporter Info

     WASHINGTON (CN) – A U.S. Capitol Police officer claims in court she was demoted in retaliation for giving a reporter information about a fellow officer who left his loaded gun in a bathroom.
     In a complaint filed in the D.C. District Court, Jodi Breiterman says she was bumped down from sergeant to private first class for “inappropriate communication” after she provided Roll Call reporter Hannah Hess with details and a photo of the incident.
     Breiterman says the demotion was just the latest punishment meted out by her superiors for speaking out about professional malfeasance on the force.
     “There have been several incidents in which Breiterman refused to silently accept unfair and discriminatory practices by her superiors and was disciplined for speaking out in opposition to those unfair and discriminatory practices,” the May 11 complaint says.
     The incident at the heart of the lawsuit occurred on Jan. 29, 2015. It was on that date that a loaded firearm belonging to a Capitol Police officer was found in a public restroom in the Capitol Visitor’s Center by a congressional staffer.
     Breiterman, was one of the officers called to the scene, and she took a cell phone picture of the gun, which had been wedged into a toilet paper holder by the officer who left it behind.
     The gun was later returned to the officer who misplaced it, without his suffering any immediate disciplinary consequences, the complaint says.
     Brieterman says following the incident she was contacted by Roll Call’s Hannah Hess, a reporter she knew as an acquaintance.
     She says she told Hess about the incident and sent the reporter the photo of the gun.
     Brieterman says at no time did Hess tell her that the photo would accompany an article she was then working on.
     After it was published, the Roll Call story went viral, and Brieterman says embarrassed Capital Police force brass vowed to find out who leaked the photo.
     Breiterman said she was questioned with several other officers, and admitted to giving Hess the photo.
     According to the complaint, the department’s response was swift. Breiterman was immediately placed on indefinite suspension.
     Shortly thereafter, Roll Call ran an article stating an unidentified female Sergeant whistleblower was suspended for leaking photo.
     Breiterman says she declined to comment for the story, which said an investigation into an officer’s “improper” and “inappropriate” communications was ongoing.
     Breiterman says 10 months after being suspended, she received a phone call from the department’s human resources office, telling her she could return to work, but would be doing so only after being demoted to private first class.
     Breiterman seeks reinstatement to her former rank, back pay and front pay and unspecified damages.
     She is represented by R. Scott Oswald of the Employment Law Group PC.
     The Capitol Police declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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