North Providence police lieutenant files sexual harassment lawsuit

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NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The highest-ranking female officer in the North Providence Police Department has filed a lawsuit claiming she was sexually harassed by her superiors and fellow officers while on the job.

The suit filed Wednesday by Lt. Diana Perez states acting Chief Christopher Pelagio, acting Deputy Chief Charles Davey, and Mayor and Public Safety Director Charles Lombardi created a hostile work environment and discriminated against Perez because of her gender.

The lawsuit states Perez’s male supervising officers made “many inappropriate, discriminatory and vulgar comments” towards Perez and other female employees of the department.

Perez also claims in the suit that she suffered retaliation for having brought her complaints to Lombardi, who in turn allegedly failed to hold Perez’s superiors accountable for their actions.

The lawsuit seeks damages for the anxiety, stress, and high blood pressure created by the alleged hostile work environment, as well as economic damages for lost opportunities in Perez’s career.

Perez has been a member of the North Providence Police Department since 2004. According to our news partners at the Providence Journal, she’s been on stress leave since April.Eyewitness News has calls out to both sides for comment.

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