Alton cop claims she was sexually harassed in suit seeking $350K

By Andrea Dearden | Jan 8, 2014

An officer with the Alton Police Department says she was sexually harassed by a superior during a training exercise and claims she was retaliated against for reporting the incident.
Jennifer Tierney filed a lawsuit Dec. 20 in Madison County Circuit Court against the City of Alton, Alton Police Department and Scott Waldrup.

According to the complaint, Tierney attended a mandatory training session in October 2012. During the session Tierney says the officers were told to split into partners and practice loading a gun without looking at it. She claims the instructing officer required one of the partners to load the gun while the other partner watched. Tierney says if an officer performing the drill looked at the weapon, the observer was to tap that officer on the shoulder.

Tierney says Waldrup, a captain and second in command of the APD, chose her as his partner for the skill test. She alleges Waldrup, in front of the other mostly male APD officers in attendance, made overt sexual gestures toward her breasts during the exercise more than once. Tierney says she told her supervisor of the sexual harassment the next day and believed it was reported to Alton Police Chief David Hayes.

Waldrup was put on administrative leave, according to the lawsuit, and returned to the job in November 2012. After Waldrup's return, Tierney claims she was told by her supervisor she was being reprimanded for an incident that happened in July 2012. Tierney says none of the other officers involved in that July incident were reprimanded. She also claims Waldrup initiated or participated in her reprimand in retaliation for her reporting the harassment.

Tierney is suing Waldrup, the City of Alton and APD for allegedly violating her civil rights and violating Illinois' Human Right Act. She also accuses Waldrup of assault and inflicting emotional distress. Tierney asks for more than $350,000 in damages, including punitive, along with court costs.  

Attorneys Christopher B. Hunter and Emily J. Johnson of Godfrey represent Tierney. They request a jury trial.Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-2162

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