Capitol Police Top Brass Being Deposed in Discrimination Suit

Posted February 22, 2011 at 3:58pm

Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse and nine other top officers are being deposed in the case of one of then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s protective agents, who is alleging sexual discrimination and retaliation.

John Mahoney, the plaintiff’s lawyer, said the department’s top brass have been subpoenaed to prove that the officers who disciplined Special Agent Luanne Moran also knew about her earlier allegations of sexual harassment. The statements will help prove Moran’s claim of retaliation, he said.

“Management officials knew of her prior complaints before they started this witch hunt,” Mahoney said.

Testimony started last Thursday and will wrap up Friday with Morse’s deposition. Mahoney said he will ask the chief why management officials who knew about Moran’s complaint were allowed to discipline her.

In a lawsuit filed in September 2009, Moran alleges that she was falsely reprimanded twice in 2008, once for leading the California Democrat through an unauthorized building entrance and again for using profanity on the job.

She claims that after complaining to supervisors about sexist and racist remarks that she overheard, they retaliated by trumping up the charges of incompetence against her.

Earlier this month, the Capitol Police filed a motion to dismiss the case, saying the punishment Moran received was not severe enough to constitute retaliation.

Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider declined to comment, citing a department policy not to talk about pending litigation.