A former Baldwin Park police chief is suing the city, alleging she was fired because of her gender and ancestry, as well as for complaining about alleged illegal and unethical conduct by others in the San Gabriel Valley municipality.
Lili Hadsell filed the lawsuit Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, naming as defendants the city as well as City Council members Ricardo Pacheco, Susan Rubio, Cruz Baca, Manuel Lozano and Monica Garcia. The complaint's allegations include discrimination on the basis of gender and race, retaliation, harassment, defamation and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages.
A representative for the city did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
According to the complaint, Hadsell was hired by the city in 1999 and appointed police chief in 2008. After being named to the job, her qualifications were questioned and she was "met with hostile reaction because she is a woman and a Peruvian," the suit states.
As chief, Hadsell "came into possession of evidence proving that a council member had committed illegal and illicit activity," the suit states. "This council member was a decision-maker to her termination."
The suit does not identify the council member or elaborate on the alleged illegal conduct.
Hadsell also raised questions about the alleged involvement of members of the police officers' union in political activities while on duty, the suit states.
"Further, plaintiff complained that the Police Association had improperly swayed the City Council for political contributions," the suit states.
Hadsell was fired Dec. 10, a day after she placed Michael Taylor, now the chief of police, on administrative leave for allegedly working on his doctorate degree on city time and for using department resources to research a stalking issue regarding one of his professors, the suit states.
"One decision-maker to her termination informed plaintiff via text message that her termination constituted retaliation," the suit states.
Hadsell complained to the mayor about harassment by Taylor, but the mayor told her he "loved Taylor like a brother," the suit states.
Hadsell was promoted to lieutenant in 1999 over Taylor, the suit states.
Pacheco once called Hadsell by telephone and "adamantly yelled at her to resign," the suit states.
Pacheco was censured by the mayor the next week for using abusive language toward Hadsell and told to apologize to her, according to the lawsuit.
—City News Service