NASHVILLE (CN) – Austin Peay State University’s police chief retaliated against five officers for making or backing up claims of sexual harassment, the officers claim in five federal lawsuits. The officers that after they told an EEO investigator that the chief acted inappropriately with female officers, “the chief has attempted to divide the department and discredit anyone who made charges or corroborated the charges as a witness to the EEO office.”
Two of the five plaintiffs say they were denied training and promotions after filing internal complaints against the chief for rude and inappropriate comments, even though the chief was found guilty and was disciplined for his behavior.
The complaints all name Austin Peay as the defendant, and all mention the police chief without stating his name.
One officer says the chief called her a “vindictive female” and ostracized her at work after she complained of his sexual harassment.
The captain of the university’s police department says he too was given negative work evaluations and abnormal assignments after corroborating the charges with an EEO investigator.
Another officer claims that after she talked with the EEO officer, the chief retaliated against her in a number of ways, including “altering directives form the captain the disavowing the same and calling her a liar, [and] her time sheets and case files were removed and she was ordered to redo them.
All five officers accuse the chief of retaliatory harassment and say they work in a hostile work environment. They are represented by Robert Martin of Clarksville, Tenn.