Mountain View Police Chief Named in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Filed By Dispatcher - NBC Bay Area
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Mountain View Police Chief Named in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Filed By Dispatcher

The lawsuit suit claims a veteran dispatcher was subjected to sexually explicit banter, lewd jokes, nudity and simulated sexual acts dating back to 2005.

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    The Mountain View Police Department is facing allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Michelle Roberts reports. (Published Thursday, March 10, 2016)

    The Mountain View Police Department is facing allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

    The allegations come from a lawsuit filed by a SWAT team dispatcher against the police department. Police Chief Max Bosel is accused of creating a hostile work environment after the dispatcher filed a sexual harassment complaint, according to the lawsuit.

    On Thursday, Mountain View's city manager, Dan Rich, is standing by the chief and spoke exclusively to NBC Bay Area. Rich admits there has been some inappropriate behaviors, but also said the lawsuit is not based on facts.

    "The police chief reports to me," Rich said. "It's unfortunate that his name and reputation is being dragged into this."

    Annie Lohman, a 13-year veteran with the police department, is currently on paid administrative leave following the city's investigation. Her lawyer, Jim McManus, describes the behavior of officers inside the Mountain View Police Department as offensive and illegal.

    "While she was on the team she was exposed to disgusting behavior," McManus said.

    Lohman this week filed a lawsuit against the city and Bosel. In the suit she claims she was subjected to sexually explicit banter, lewd jokes, nudity and simulated sexual acts dating back to 2005. The dispatcher also said the chief actively encouraged the behavior.

    Rich said the city investigated harassment allegations after Lohman filed a complaint.

    "We did uncover behavior that doesn't meet our expectations," Rich said.

    The city manager would not say what inappropriate behavior was discussed, or if any of the officers involved were punished. Rich added that he could not comment on personnel matters.

    "Whether or not it was after hours or intended to be jovial or friendly, that's not acceptable behavior," Rich said. "We want to make that very clear to folks."

    While the city acknowledges some wrongdoing, Rich is standing by Bosel and said the facts do not sustain the allegations.

    Meanwhile, McManus has been told Lohman can only return to work if she accepts a demotion.

    "There's no question the message they were trying to send her was you'd be better off leaving," McManus said.

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