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Ex-Boulder City police officer alleges discrimination in lawsuit

A former Boulder City police officer filed suit last week alleging that city officials turned a blind eye following his complaints that a supervisor used derogatory remarks toward him on several occasions.

The suit, filed in District Court on Sept. 18 by Kang &Associates, states that Anil Sharma started as a police officer with the Boulder City Police Department on Jan. 14, 2020. It states that throughout his employment, his supervisor, Sgt. Jeanette Woolsey, “made inappropriate and discriminatory comments regarding Plaintiff’s race (Asian) and national origin (Indian).”

It goes on to state, “Additionally, Plaintiff was continually treated differently and more harshly than his co-workers.”

An email from the city on Monday, Sept. 25, states, “The City has not been served with this lawsuit. While it appears one has been filed, the action cannot be commenced until the other party has been served. Moreover, it is Boulder City policy not to comment on personnel matters.”

The suit states that in July 2021, Sharma reported this alleged misconduct but that, “Defendant took no steps to investigate or address Plaintiff’s complaints.” It alleges that Woolsey began retaliating against Sharma because of his complaints.

According to the lawsuit, Sharma reported these actions again in September 2021 and, again, “Defendant took no steps to investigate or address Plaintiff’s complaints.” It goes on to state that on Jan. 7, 2022, Sharma reported the comments and actions for a third time to Boulder City police officials.

“However, instead of investigating Plaintiff’s complaints or Sergeant Woolsey’s behavior, Plaintiff was placed on investigation on or about January 8, 2022,” the lawsuit states.

Sharma remained under investigation until June 2022 and was ultimately terminated. The suit alleges that the termination was retaliation for filing the complaints and that the city took no action to investigate, prevent or correct the alleged actions.

“The harassment and disparate treatment Plaintiff was subjected to caused him to suffer from substantial and severe emotional distress,” the lawsuit claims. “Further, Plaintiff incurred lost wages due to his discriminatory, retaliatory, and wrongful termination.”

The lawsuit does not specify a dollar amount that Sharma is seeking against the city other that stating that the “Plaintiff has suffered damages, in the form of grievous mental and emotional distress, and lost wages, and will continue to be damaged in an amount in excess of $15,000.”

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