Bartlesville Police Department Hit With 2nd Federal Lawsuit This Month

Monday, June 27th 2011, 1:50 pm
By: News On 6

BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma – For the second time in less than two weeks, a Bartlesville Police officer has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Bartlesville.

The latest suit was filed on June 21, 2011.  It's seeking $6 million from the city of Bartlesville and the Bartlesville Fraternal Order of Police.

Former police officer Cody Thomas accuses the city and department of creating a hostile working environment and discriminating against him because of his Hispanic heritage.

He says he was hired in 2009.

Read the complaint filed in federal court in Tulsa.

Thomas alleges in the suit that the department "repeatedly and systematically harassed" him with "a barrage of racially charged comments, embarrassing statements" that it affected his "ability to perform his police duties."

Thomas states he filed a written complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

On June 13, 2011, officer Elizabeth Mitchell, a 16-year veteran of the police department filed a $6 million federal lawsuit, alleging sexual harassment.

6/17/2011 Related Story: Bartlesville Police Officer Asks For $6 Million In Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Cody Thomas further alleges in his suit that when he was fired by the Bartlesville Police Department and signed his termination papers at city hall, "the city manager and human resources director jubilantly celebrated the event" in front of him.

Thomas' complaint asks for $3 million in actual damages and $3 million in punitive damages.