A longtime Lexington, Kentucky, police sergeant with an exceptional record of community service and heroism has filed a lawsuit against the city accusing his supervisors of retaliating against him for speaking out against alleged sexual harassment targeting three female officers in the department.
Sergeant Bryan Jared filed his whistleblower lawsuit in Fayette County Circuit Court Civil Division against Lexington mayor Jim Gray, Police Chief Mark Barnard, and Lexington police commanders Jonathan “Rodney” Sherrod and Thomas Curtsinger.
Sgt. Jared, who has been part of Lexington’s police force for 17 years, was hailed nationwide for his heroic efforts in pulling the sole survivor of Comair Flight 5191 to safety in August 2006. The commuter plane crashed and burned on takeoff from Blue Grass Airport, killing everyone onboard except for co-pilot James Polehinke.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, court documents reveal that Sgt. Jared learned last year that Sherrod had sexually harassed three female officers.
The lawsuit asserts that sexual harassment in the police department is “ignored, covered up and/or improperly handled by LPD commanding staff, including defendant Chief Barnard. Sgt. Jared heard accounts about how female officers were allegedly treated unfairly or inappropriately.”
Sgt. Jared reported the matter to a lieutenant, who filed an official complaint with the human resources department. Sgt. Jared later learned that an investigation of his accusations had been closed.
But instead of any action being taken against the alleged offending officers, it was Jared who suffered the consequences. His lawsuit says that he was disciplined three separate times and involuntarily transferred to another sector that included the plane crash site. According to the lawsuit, “All defendants knew the severe suffering this sector change would cause Sergeant Jared.” Requests to be transferred out of that sector were ignored, Sgt. Jared alleges.
Sgt. Jared’s lawyer told the Lexington Herald-Leader that Sgt. Jared has been a model police officer in his nearly two decades of service.
“Sgt. Jared is one of the most decorated and community-minded police officers in the history of the Lexington Police Department. And for doing the right thing, he suffered reprisal as a result.”
Source: Lexington Herald-Leader