Posted On: February 22, 2009

Former Female Police Officer Settles With City On Case Involving Sexual Harassment, Gender Discrimination and Retaliation

Former police Sgt. April Begin, who filed a lawsuit against the city in 2007 in which she alleged her fellow officers made sexual remarks and refused to back her up in dangerous situations because they resented working with a woman was settled with the city of Dearborn. The lawsuit was based on sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation. As part of the settlement she will receive a pension of $57,000 a year for life with full medical benefits, $60,000 in retroactive pension benefits dating to April when she was relieved of her duties without pay, plus $60,000 cash.

The city of Dearborn, which was named as the primary defendant in each of the cases maintained its actions in regards to the officers were lawful and nondiscriminatory but claims it settlemented all three cases because it was in the best interest of the city and police department citing the cost of settling the cases on the terms agreed to by the parties was less than the cost of moving forward with the litigation. Additionally, two of the defenses key witnesses died before trial and that weakened the defense planned by the city.

"It's not sexual that way, like sleep with me or anything like that, it's just that I'm the weakest link because I'm a female kind of thing," Begin said

The city settled two other lawsuits for a total of $235,00. Those lawsuits were filed by Lt. Karen Wilkes (Ehlert) and Sgt. Susan Fett (Gomolak). All three of the officers alleged several high-ranking members of the Dearborn Police Department and members of the city's administration had subjected them to sexual harassment, gender discrimination and acts of retaliation.