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Published: Tuesday, 3/25/2003

Fired Oregon police officer files sex discrimination suit

A former Oregon police officer yesterday filed a sex discrimination lawsuit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court against the city of Oregon.

Candace S. Elliott of Curtice claims she was fired from the department in August after she rejected the advances of a male officer who asked her out on a date.

In the lawsuit, she alleges that Officer Jeffrey Brown falsely told their colleagues that she was a safety hazard and demeaned her law enforcement abilities.

Subsequently, she said she received unfavorable performance evaluations and was treated differently from male officers in the department.

Ms. Elliott, who was hired in November, 2000, is asking to be reimbursed for lost wages and benefits and is seeking more than $25,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

In addition to the city, Chief Thomas Gulch, Sgt. Ken Reno, and Mayor Marge Brown were named as defendants. The lawsuit was assigned to Judge Ruth Ann Franks.

Mrs. Brown, who is the mother of Officer Brown, said the lawsuit has no merit. “She was fired because of the use of bad judgment,” she said.

Paul Goldberg, city law director, said Ms. Elliott failed to make it through her probationary period, he said.

“It had nothing to do with her sex, it had to do with her performance,” he said.

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