First black female lieutenant files
discrimination complaint against Jersey City
By AP from wcbsx880.com from the Web, March 26, 2005
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The first black female lieutenant in the city's police department has filed a discrimination complaint over her transfer out of the internal affairs unit after six months on the job, according to a published report.
In charges filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Christine Peterson accused Mayor Jerramiah Healy and Police Chief Robert Troy of discriminating against her by transferring her to the uniformed division, allegedly due to a lack of manpower.
Petersen told The Jersey Journal that two other white lieutenants were not transferred out of internal affairs even though they had less seniority than she did.
A different white lieutenant was transferred at the officer's request, she said.
Transfers out of internal affairs are not common, since officers could wind up working on the street with other officers they had investigated, several sources told the newspaper.
A police department spokesman said the city corporation counsel's office would have to evaluate the complaint before Troy or the city could comment.
Petersen, a 23-year veteran of the department, filed a sexual harassment suit against the city in 1993 and was awarded nearly $80,000 in damages and $300,000 to pay for legal fees.
She opted to file the current complaint through the EEOC instead of with the city.
"When I complained to the city under its anti-discrimination policy in the past, they were unresponsive, never interviewed me and (it) was essentially an ineffective reporting mechanism for this type of
grievance," she said.