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Bunnell Officer Files Sex Discrimation Suit

Oct 14, 2004 | Daytona Beach News-Journal

For the second time in almost six months, a woman police officer has filed a sexual discrimination complaint against the Bunnell Police Department.

Officer Diana Perry told U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission officials last month that for the year she has worked at the Police Department she has been subjected to ". . . disparate treatment, different terms and conditions, intimidation, and harassment."

In her complaint, Perry claimed that as the only woman on the city's drug task force she has been treated differently from male officers, denied ranking and that Police Chief Bill Davis consistently speaks to her "impolitely, using abusive language and is condescending."

Her complaint also claimed City Manager Lyndon Bonner told her in August, when she complained, that Davis came "from the old school where he believes that women should be home barefoot and pregnant."

Attempts to reach Perry were unsuccessful, and Bonner referred all questions about the issue to City Attorney Sid Nowell.

Nowell said the city plans to mediate the case but questioned the validity of the complaint.

"At this time, based on our initial review of the facts, we find no basis to her allegations," Nowell said. "But we will continue to review it and work with the agency to see if we can resolve it."

This is the second time in the past six months a woman police officer has filed a complaint with the EEOC against the Police Department, its police chief and supervising officers.

In April, Cpl. Irene Hosford claimed that for three years she endured ridicule, insults and "blatant sexual discrimination" from Davis and Sgt. Randy Burke. Her case also went into mediation and the details of it are unavailable.

While city leaders are restricted on what they can say because of the meditation, Mayor Joann King said she views both cases as being separate because Perry is still a probationary employee and the issues are different.

Bonner, who was accused of sexual harassment last year, said the two complaints don't reflect badly on the Police Department. The EEOC dismissed victim advocate Rachell Neuman's harassment case against Bonner.

"Just like any other agency or departments, whether it's internal or external, we have complaints and we have a process that we have to go through to find the answers," Bonner said. "Then we will act upon the answers in a responsible way. That's just the way we have done it since I have been here, and that's the way we will continue as long as I am here."

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