Lieutenant sues Police Department

Susan Hayn claims years of gender discrimination and harassment by male colleagues.

August 17, 2010|By Melanie Hicken,

CITY HALL — A female police lieutenant who says she endured years of on-the-job discrimination is the latest officer to file a lawsuit against the Glendale Police Department.

Police Lt. Susan Hayn is the eighth officer known to have filed a discrimination suit this year against the Police Department.

All the plaintiffs, including Hayn, are represented by Santa Monica-based attorney Carney Shegerian.

Hayn, who has worked for the city since 1985, alleges years of gender discrimination and harassment by her male colleagues, according to the lawsuit. The complaint singles out multiple police officers and city officials, including City Manager Jim Starbird, former Glendale Police Chief Randy Adams and multiple captains.


In her lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Hayn claimed that she was repeatedly denied transfer requests while less senior male sergeants had theirs signed off on. She was also told she had "hit the glass ceiling," according to federal court records.

Hayn also says she was falsely accused of having an affair with someone within the department after being promoted to sergeant in 2003.

She recently left her role as West Area Commander for a position in another unit, a change that is not mentioned in the lawsuit.

City Atty. Scott Howard said the city had not been served with the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday, and could not yet comment on the merit of Hayn's allegations.

"If we determine there is merit to any of those allegations, we are going to address those appropriately," he said. "If they are without merit, we will aggressively defend the case."

Hayn's filing comes about seven months after four Armenian officers and a former officer filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the police department — setting off a series of complaints alleging repeated on-the-job discrimination and harassment.

In May, Officer Marc Mendoza filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging that he was moved from detective to patrol officer because of his friendship with Sgt. Vahak Mardikian, one of the five plaintiffs in the other case.

In 2007, Mardikian filed a lawsuit in state court alleging he was denied several promotions and the right to return to work as a full-duty officer after a knee injury because of his race, but dropped the case shortly before filing the federal lawsuit.

Within weeks of Mendoza's filing, Officer Tyrone Hunter, who is black, filed a federal lawsuit alleging that he endured racial slurs and was unfairly taken off a top narcotics investigative assignment and put back on patrol.

City officials have said the allegations are without merit.

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