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Transgender police officer files civil rights complaint

Transgender police officer files civil rights complaint

A transgender Oklahoma City police officer has filed a civil rights complaint accusing the police department of trying to force her to quit. Officer Paula Schonauer filed the complaint January 14 with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Police chief Bill Citty was unaware of Schonauer's latest complaint, said Sgt. Charles Phillips, assistant public information officer. "The chief's comment is that he has not been notified of the complaint at this point, and he wants to reiterate that Officer Schonauer is still an active employee of the Oklahoma City Police Department, and the department will respond as required to any complaints as we receive them," Phillips said. Schonauer first filed a complaint with the EEOC in March, accusing the department of creating a hostile work environment for her. She filed a second EEOC complaint in May, alleging she suffered retaliation for filing the first complaint. The March and May complaints became the basis for separate lawsuits Schonauer filed against the city, one in September and another in December. The lawsuits were filed to meet the statute of limitations--a legal time limit for filing certain kinds of cases--and were never served on the city, Schonauer's lawyer, Doug Friesen, said at the time. Schonauer returned to work Thursday. She had been on paid administrative leave since September after being reassigned in May to a job taking police reports. She had been a street officer. (AP)

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