The Wolcott Police Department in Connecticut is being sued by Linda Lanosa, who claims she was subjected to repeated sexual harassment during her employment as a police dispatcher from 2004 through mid-2009.
Lanosa originally lodged a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO). The CHRO ruled that there was sufficient justification to merit an investigation. The Commission typically awards lost wages only; moving the case to federal court allows for punitive damages awards.
In the initial complaint, Lanosa accused Sgt. Brian Thies of performing a lewd act that he broadcast over the police radio. Thies is also alleged to have made comments about Lanosa’s breasts and asked her to “flash” him in the restroom. “She’s asserting sexual harassment that was very bad, and she has suffered emotional damages to quite a large extent,” said her attorney, Christopher N. Parlato.
Mayor Thomas G. Dunn questioned the validity of Lanosa’s claims, saying that any workplace issues should have been reported to a town official immediately. He pointed out that no complaint was filed with his office until February 2009.
Dunn said the town will aggressively fight any complaints made against town officials. Thies retired from the police department in February to become a firefighter.