Omaha police captain sues city over investigation into sexual harassment allegation
OMAHA - An Omaha Police captain has sued the city alleging her claim of sexual harassment was not fully investigated.
Kathy Belcastro-Gonzalez has been the captain of the Omaha Police Department's Southeast Precinct since 2010. She's been on the force since 1994.
The lawsuit states Belcastro-Gonzalez filed a complaint with the Omaha mayor's office on or about May 1, 2017. In that complaint, Belcastro-Gonzalez reported what she called "unlawful discrimination practices and disparate treatment of women by OPD in the workplace."
The lawsuit alleges the defendants and their agents then retaliated against Belcastro-Gonzalez by passing over her for a promotion to deputy chief in 2018.
According to the lawsuit, Belcastro-Gonzalez was the most experienced and qualified of the candidates.
The lawsuit also states Belcastro-Gonzalez "lost career track advancement by being denied speciality position opportunities and was on the fast track to become the first female Police Chief in the history of the Omaha Police Department."
The lawsuit names the city of Omaha, Police Chief Todd Schmaderer, Mayor Jean Stothert and former Human Relations Director Tim Young as defendants.
"Chief Schmaderer has previously stated that there is no merit to the retaliation allegation," Lt. Sherie Thomas wrote in a statement to KETV NewsWatch 7.
Both the Police Department and the Omaha mayor's office point to a statement by city attorney Paul Kratz:
"The allegations listed in this lawsuit date back to 2010, prior to Chief Schmaderer's appointment as Chief of Police in 2012. The complaint has already been reviewed and dismissed by the NEOC (Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission) which determined the evidence fails to support the allegations. This case is a personnel matter and the facts will be made public at trial. It is never appropriate to share an employee's personnel record in public or in the media. We again will vigorously defend the allegations."
KETV NewsWatch 7 reached out to Belcastro-Gonzalez for comment Wednesday evening. She asked us to contact her attorney.