Woman Police Officer Files Discrimination Lawsuit against State

Elizabeth Dempsey, a Delaware State Police trooper, filed charges against the state on Friday, claiming that she experienced discrimination based on her gender. The charges concern the state’s actions after a 2003 domestic dispute between Dempsey and a fellow trooper. According to Dempsey’s lawsuit, Master Cpl. Brian D. Maher broke into Dempsey’s apartment and threatened a male guest who was with her, the News Journal reports. The lawsuit claims that after Dempsey reported the incident, she received a more severe punishment than Maher.

Reportedly, Maher’s actions were felony-level, but he was only charged with a misdemeanor. Dempsey’s lawsuit also claims that Maher pleaded guilty to conduct unbecoming a trooper and was demoted to corporal for one year. After Maher was arrested, Dempsey was forced to change shifts so that the two would not have to work together.

In 2005, Dempsey was charged with falsifying a report related to the incident and was fired. She appealed the decision, however, and was reinstated at a lower rank. Dempsey’s demotion was supposed to last one year – ending in January 2006. She remains, however, at the lower rank today, even though Maher’s rank has been restored.

According to the News Journal, the Delaware state police was charged earlier this year by a different female trooper claiming she experienced gender-based discrimination.


The News Journal 7/28/2006, 7/29/2006

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