Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A former high-ranking officer with the Columbia Police Department is suing the agency and her former boss, claiming the department was plagued with sexual discrimination.
Isa Greene filed the civil suit against CPD and current Police Chief Randy Scott. It will be heard in federal court.
Greene is a former deputy chief with the agency.
Scott fired Greene on March 1, 2012 after the result of an investigation into the handling of the Tom Sponseller missing person's case.
Sponseller was the head of the South Carolina Hospitality Association.
Sponseller's family reported him missing on February 18th, but his body wasn't found until 10 days later. It was determined that he committed suicide.
The department held Greene partially responsible for not finding Sponseller's suicide note during an initial search, but she contended she was on vacation when that search took place.
Greene later lost a grievance complaint over the termination.
According to the suit, Greene argues there was a pattern of discrimination within the department. For example, the lawsuit claims female employees were subject to constant sexual harassment by male employees and were subject to different forms of discipline. She also says female employees, including her, were paid less than their male counterparts, and claims male officers were hired even though they did not pass all department hiring requirements.
The result of these actions created conditions which were "psychologically intolerable for female officers" and constituted an "abusive work environment."
Greene claims she brought these concerns to senior officers but no corrective action was taken; instead, she said she was criticized for her actions.
Green is suing for punitive and attorney's fees, claiming emotional and physical injuries and a loss of reputation.
News19 reached out to Columbia Police for a statement, but the agency said it could not comment on pending litigation.