Hull Officer Sues Police Chief, Commanders For Sexual Harassment

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV

HULL (CBS) – A female police officer in Hull has filed a sexual harassment suit against the town’s Police Chief and two other commanding officers, charging they demeaned her and other women in department.

Their actions were “pervasive and severe” according to the suit. For Wendy Cope-Allen, with fourteen years on the force, it may be one of the biggest risks she has faced to take on her superiors, but her attorney James Brady calls it the tipping point in a male-dominated department.

“I have never seen a workplace environment so poisoned by misogyny,” said Brady. Named in the suit are police chief Richard Billings, Captin Robert Sawtelle and Lieutenant Dale Shea. They allegedly told others in the police force that Cope-Allen was promoted from dispatcher to police officer by being promiscuous, “that Cope-Allen was having sex with numerous male police officers and firefighters.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports

“It was either leave the department or take action,” said Brady, who claims leaving was not an option since Cope-Allen has an accomplished resume on the force including being the head of the DARE program, and work with victims of domestic violence.

Her suit is supported by two other former female employees who have since left the force because they say they witnessed the harassment or were victims of it themselves. They have signed sworn affidavits, including statements officers were heard saying, “Cope-Allen got her job because she is a little flirt”.

Her attorney is now calling for the demotion of the officers or their resignation. “I think that would signal to the community that Hull is serious in trying to correct egregious, poisonous conditions in the police department,” he said.

Hull’s town attorney John Davis says he is still reviewing the documents, but tells WBZ-TV the case has no merit.

  • Lori

    Just another reason to NOT trust police. Look at the Revere officer in the news… wearing civilian clothing in his cruiser staying home for an hour or more while on duty. Not only that there was a officer involved incident in Spencer just last week. A guy had an injury to his stomach. His GF says he was trying to surrender, no altercation w/officers, the officer told her they only used a stun gun when that is not true. The politicians wonder why we do not trust the people who claim they are protecting us.

  • emom

    First illegals NOW THIS,, what are the odds.. WHO IN THE HELL CAN WE TRUST , to protects and be there when we truely need them . GOD HELP US ALL…

    • HK

      …first illegals? Illegal immigrants are not bad people; they are people that are in difficult situations, and many of them WANT to become citizens, but are unable to because of the lengths to which they must go to do so. Statistically, the majority of criminals in our country are legal citizens.

      And we can trust many people to do their jobs in our communities. One (yet unproven) case of an abuse of power does not mean the world is going to end; there are, and will always be, many people who honestly perfom their jobs.

    • Boston_Jared06

      Is your sole purpose on here to attack everyone who’s in the news? You really need to get out of the house more often. You are an extremely miserable person.

    • Jarred_Boston06

      Is your sole purpose on here to attack everyone who is in the news? You really need to get out of the house and stop being such a miserable person.

      • emom

        wow like I am the only one that has these same concerns.. think you need to get out of your house more often.. This state is going down the tubes very fast and its high time it stops.. get real

  • Proud_Female_LTC carrier

    It is NOT as if she was wearing provocative clothing. She was wearing her UNIFORM. They had NO right to say the things they said to her. I hope you are joking by what you said about female officers causing problems. If you are not joking then maybe you are one of the officers that harrassed her… or maybe you are a officer in a different town doing the same thing. What if it were YOUR daughter or sister?

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