According to Mercury News, Concord Police Department is facing another sexual harassment lawsuit after an employee made claims that the department’s highest-ranking female officer made inappropriate passes.
Wendy Schwartzenberger filed a sexual harassment lawsuit claiming that Lt. Robin Heinemann made sexual comments, cupped her behind, hugged and kissed her. She further alleges that Heinemann made inappropriate comments about the officer’s sexual orientation and relationship with her partner. She further alleges that the defendant outed her sexual preference during a lunch with fellow officers.
Schwartzenberger’s attorney said that Heinemann’s high rank in the department placed her way up the chain of command. The plaintiff is not a sworn officer, she is a Community Service Officer and Heinemann outranked her.
The plaintiff’s lawsuit is the fifth sexual harassment, discrimination or retribution claim against the department and its officers in the past four years. All previous claims have been settled for amounts ranging from $47,511 to $750,000. Heinemann received a $150,000 settlement in a workers’ compensation case.
Heinemann is the highest ranking woman with the Concord Police Department and has filed two sexual harassment lawsuits over the past twelve years. Heinemann has collected close to $300,000 in her previous claims against the department and those who may have sexually harassed her on the job.
Schwartzenberger was transferred to the main police department office but the office was closed due to budget cuts. She has now been transferred to the same office that currently employs Heinemann, which her attorney claims has created a very bad environment.