Cop Says She Was Fired For Complaining About Boss's Sexual Harassment

A Huntsville officer said she was fired after complaining about years of sexual harassment at her police department.

​Huntsville, TX – A former Huntsville Police Department (HPD) officer has filed a federal lawsuit against the department, alleging that she was fired in retaliation for filing sexual harassment complaints against her supervisor.

Former HPD Officer Kimberly Webb worked for the department from Mar. 4. 2013, until she was dishonorably discharged on May 3, 2017, the Houston Chronicle reported.

According to KHOU, her termination paperwork suggested that she had been dishonest and insubordinate.

“You don’t go against that brotherhood. You don’t go against that culture. But it’s not acceptable,” Webb said through tears.

She said that within months of being hired, other officers began harassing her with sexual jokes and unwanted advances.

“I got told it was like a contact sport,” she told KHOU. “If you’re in a contact sport, you know there is a certain level of activity that is going to come with that sport. So suck it up and move on.”

Webb claimed that her supervisor began sexually harassing her approximately one year after she joined the force.

According to court documents, Webb said that the sergeant had sent her “numerous sexually explicit pictures via text message beginning as far back as 2013,” the Houston Chronicle reported.

She claimed that her supervisor asked to see her breasts and more, KHOU reported.

“[He sent] a picture of himself asking for pictures of me and it was constant and persistent all the time,” she said.

Webb explained that, after she filed her second complaint, she was moved to court duty. She said she had no problems during the two years she worked at that assignment, and pointed out that her coworkers were primarily female.

In the lawsuit, Webb contended that the sergeant assaulted her in January of 2017, when he “placed her in a dangerous arm bar and pressed the release button on her service weapon, causing the magazine to fall out,” the Houston Chronicle reported.

She said that, during a co-worker’s retirement party on Feb. 28, 2017, her sergeant came up behind her and “kicked her legs from under her causing her to fall.”

On Mar. 3, 2017, she alleged that the sergeant “made repeated sexual advances towards her,” and that when she “rejected his advances, he became more aggressive and physically violent towards her.”

Webb’s third sexual harassment complaint was sent to Huntsville’s human resources department on Mar. 7, 2017, and she soon agreed to submit to a polygraph as part of the investigation into her claims.

Once the test was completed, she was told that she failed, court documents said.

“Webb was repeatedly accused of having a relationship with Sgt. Scott and exchanging sexually explicit text messages with him,” court documents related to the Apr. 19, 2017 polygraph examination said. “She continued to deny having a relationship with Sgt. Scott or sending any explicit messages to him.”

“[The sergeant] was saying he was asking for those things and sent [lewd photos] because it was a consensual relationship,” Webb told KHOU.

On the same day that Webb was terminated, HPD Chief Levin Lunsford demoted Sgt. Scott to the rank of police officer, and noted that the supervisor “had acted inappropriately during the incident,” the lawsuit said.

“The City of Huntsville has received a lawsuit filed in a federal court in Houston by former employee Kimberly Webb,” Leonard Schneider, the attorney for Chief Lunsford and the HPD told KHOU. “The suit is against the city and the Chief of Police. Legal counsel for the city is handling the case. City policies do not permit discussion of ongoing legal proceedings.”

Webb, who is now a stay-at-home mom and pregnant with her second son, said she is working to obtain a criminal justice doctoral degree, just in case she can never work as an officer again, KHOU reported.

“I was warned about what might happen for making a complaint about a fellow officer,” she claimed.

“They made an example of her,” her attorney, Ronald Dupree, said. “[The chief and department] showed her if you report these kinds of things, this is what will happen to you.”

Her lawsuit requests that she be reinstated to her position, and that she be compensated for lost wages, legal fees, and any cash award that a jury may deem appropriate.

Comments (16)
No. 1-16
Heezels
Heezels

Man, that's some bullshit. That department has a great deal to answer for.

PeterB
PeterB

All her claims were treated as being dishonest & insubordinate, Then why was Sgt Scot Demoted?

Quinc69
Quinc69

I agree, sad when you just want to do good and help others BUT you have to "take one for the team" attitude comes into play. I wonder how the aggressors would feel if that was their daughter, wife or sister getting harassed? Not cool

Richard Kurtz
Richard Kurtz

Unfortunately that is the attitude of some officers. That they are beyond reproach. They can do whatever they want.

Heezels
Heezels

Unfortunately it does seem that way. I also consider to be a clear case of career homicide for them
to make her take a polygraph as a means of deciding that she’s lying. It’s one of the most inconsistent tools. Hillary even joked about a rapist passing the polygraph.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

Yikes! I hope the taxpayers will be happy after she rightfully wins a huge lawsuit.

Why would she want to return to that department though? I'd be afraid of being hung out to dry.

Teijeiro2
Teijeiro2

WHERE IS HER PROOF? All I hear is her saying this and that! She failed the lie detector test. She ain't that good lookin', so why would this guy would keep chasing her if she hadn't let him catch her. By the way, I noticed the article referred to her as a "stay at home mom, pregnant with another child". NO MENTION OF A HUSBAND> I don't believe her.

PeterB
PeterB

Some lines not added to the article deliberately, gathered from actual sources. ###Webb detailed additional violent encounters with Sgt. Scott including a January 2017 incident when he placed her in a dangerous arm bar and pressed the release button on her service weapon causing the magazine to fall out,"

PeterB
PeterB

###Lunsford and the Huntsville PD have retained Leonard Schneider as legal counsel.

PeterB
PeterB

Blowing the whistle on criminal law enforcement activities will sure 'nuff get you fired.

Just ask former Officer Joe Crystal from Baltimore.
Ask Wiilmington Police Department Sergeant Joe Stansbury.
Ask Idaho Detective Brandon Eller.
Ask former Dallas Police Department rookie officer Shanna Lopez, who was terminated from her new job in 2006 after coming forward to superiors about coworker and 26-year veteran officer, David Kattner — who had been robbing, raping, and otherwise severely mistreating and unjustly targeting prostitutes while on the job. Kattner's intimidation, harassment, and bogus ticket-writing scheme so bothered Lopez, she came forward with the allegations. Despite her stellar record — including a commendation — Lopez was abruptly terminated.

Despite her best efforts to alert superiors to her deviant and vicious colleague, nine years after Lopez was terminated, Kattner was arrested for sexually assaulting a woman - while he was in uniform and using his patrol car.

That victim could have been spared a horrible ordeal if Lopez' superiors would have listened years before instead of terminating her as if she had been the one doing wrong.

Ask Officer Cariole Horne - fired for stopping an incident of police brutality against a civilian.
Officer Regina Tasca - also fired for stopping AND reporting an incident of police brutality.
And Officer Laura Schook - fired for exposing high-level CORRUPTION

Heezels
Heezels

Unfortunately it seems that way. Still... I've seen what happens when people blow the whistle on criminal activities of citizens. It's a little more draconian than being fired.

lds719
lds719

These problems are not exclusive to police departments. They happen everywhere in public and private jobs. No doubt there are stupid police officers out there, but no more than the public in general.

LewisNoved
LewisNoved

All too common. In all facets of the job. How many white shirts will burn a good officer down when he disagrees with management for something clearly inefficient, dangerous, or illegal?

ForestJohn
ForestJohn

Polygraphs are universally unreliable. Using them for a basis of any action is insane. I can't believe any accredited police department would use those as a deciding factor in an investigation. I wonder why the PD only gave her a poly and not the sergeant? Sounds like a real poor investigation and no doubt she will prevail with a large cash settlement.

davidebrwn
davidebrwn

If she would have saved all those communications It would hae helped her case.