JUDGE GIVES GREEN LIGHT TO FEMALE OFFICERS' SEX DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT
AGAINST SONOMA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT!
Sex Discrimination lawsuit filed against the Sonoma County Sheriff's
Department in March 2005 by Sheriff's Department female officers
has TRIUMPHED in its first major legal hurdle. Federal Judge Charles
Breyer has denied the Sheriff's Department's Motion to Dismiss and
the case will now proceed to discovery. (Please see attached first
Press Release for overview of lawsuit)
has ruled that both the Sheriff's Department and 14 individually
named Command Staff must now ANSWER the lawsuit's allegations of
Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Retaliation.
denied the Sheriff's Department's Motion to Dismiss the Complaint,
refused the Sheriff's request to strike the long history of sex
discrimination claims against the Department, and refused the Sheriff's
request to strike the December 22, 2004 letter of sex discrimination
complaints to Sheriff Cogbill signed by all remaining female Deputies.
Command Staff, Lieutenant Roger Rude and Sergeant Steve Brown, have
been added to the lawsuit as Sexual Harassment defendants.
lawsuit was filed, another female Deputy has left the Sheriff's
Department, citing stressful working conditions. This veteran female
law enforcement officer was a Detective in the Domestic Violence/Sexual
the number of female sworn Deputies in the Sonoma County Sheriff's
Department to 12 females out of a total of 243 sworn Deputies (a
mere 4.9% of the Department's total sworn Deputies).
Timeline of Relevant
On August 5, 2005,
Judge Charles Breyer issued an Order DENYING defendants' MOTION
TO DISMISS plaintiff's original COMPLAINT for Sex Discrimination,
Sexual Harassment, and Retaliation.
September 2, 2005:
Plaintiffs filed a FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT for Gender Discrimination,
Sexual Harassment, Retaliation, etc. Plaintiffs named two new individual
defendants, Lieutenant Roger Rude (the County's named "Spokesperson"
to respond to plaintiffs' Complaint) and Sergeant Steve Brown. Both
these supervisors romantically pursued plaintiff Lauren Ferrara,
despite her objections, during her employment with the Department.
September 15, 2005:
Sonoma County Sheriff's Department, and individually named Command
Staff, filed a joint ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT of plaintiffs
Lauren Ferrara and Robin Smith.
Contact: Desiree O. Cox
Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs
Attached: First Press Release