Sept. 18--A former Telford Borough police officer is suing the borough, the police department, the chief, and two officers, claiming she was sexually harassed, intimidated, and wrongfully fired.
Connie McGinniss, 27, of Quakertown, "was subjected to attitudes of hatred, dislike, mistrust, and mistreatment of women based on her status as the only female officer in the department," according to her suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court.
"She was subjected to stalking, peeping, and explicit sexual language and pornographic displays belittling women" and her specifically, according to the 30-page suit.
After five years on the force, she was fired in July 2010 in retaliation for her complaints to her supervisors, according to the suit.
Borough Manager Mark D. Fournier said he had not received the suit and declined to comment. Calls to the Police Department for the chief and other officers named in the suit were referred to lawyer Chris Gerber, who did not return phone messages.
According to the suit, Chief Randall Floyd made sexual advances to McGinniss, invited her to his home, hotels, and mountain house, and ordered her to give him rides home.
"Floyd continued to make [McGinniss] extremely uncomfortable by touching her inappropriately and telling her she smelled good. Floyd constantly touched [McGinniss], leaned up against her and smelled her hair, and even attempted to kiss" her, according to the suit.
The chief and other supervisors also failed to respond to McGinnis' complaints about the workplace, including pornography displayed on desks and computers, inappropriate conduct, threats, and harassment.
Instead, McGinniss' hours and overtime were cut back, reducing her $26,000 annual pay to $12,000.
In 2009, Officer David Stevens, who was named in the suit, started following McGinniss while he was off duty, including to her DUI traffic stops, according to the suit.
Officer David Bechtel, also named in the suit, requested that McGinniss perform a sexual act. She reported the incident to the chief.
"Within a few weeks, she was fired for writing a traffic ticket Chief Floyd told her not to write," said McGinniss' lawyer, Brian K. Wiley.
McGinniss' personnel file did not contain any disciplinary notations about her performance or the complaints she had filed, according to the suit.
Weeks before her firing, the chief gave McGinniss a "glowing recommendation" that led to her appointment as a training officer at Camp Cadet, run by the Pennsylvania State Police, Wiley said.
The suit requests back pay with interest from the time of her firing, reinstatement or compensation for lost wages to retirement, compensatory and punitive damages, legal fees and court costs.
McGinniss' charges previously were filed with the district attorneys for Bucks and Montgomery Counties, because the tiny borough of 4,900 people straddles their borders.
Bucks County's David Heckler said the complaint did not involve criminal conduct and was in civil court, "where it belongs."
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman did not return a phone message.
Contact Bill Reed at 215-801-2964, or [email protected], for follow on Twitter @breedbucks. Read his blog, BucksInq, at www.philly.com/bucksinq.
Copyright 2012 - The Philadelphia Inquirer