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Another Abilene police officer files a lawsuit against the city

Another Abilene Police officer has filed a lawsuit against the City of Abilene.

Officer Tracy Gates is claiming that she has been the victim of sex discrimination and retaliation. Gates has been with the APD since 2003.

In July 2018, Gates filed a six-page lawsuit. The lawsuit cites specific examples of the alleged discrimination, including inappropriate comments and unfairly getting passed over for a promotion.

According to the lawsuit, Gates was transferred to Safety City in 2010 by choice. The transfer was due to a "discriminatory treatment at headquarters and she's wanted to leave that toxic environment."

In 2014, Gates was transferred back to patrol following maternity leave. She alleges that Assistant Chief Doug Wrenn "thought she would resign to stay home with her five children."

Gates claims that once she was back to patrolling, she chose the morning shift, but was switched because the shift sergeant did not want her to have it. The lawsuit states that it was "due to her family situation of having so many children that she would miss too much work."

In November of 2014, Gates began the Sergeant Academy and applied for a position as a sergeant. She claims that a Lieutenant questioned her, stating, "they already hired females from the previous sergeant promotions."

Officer Gates did not receive the promotion to sergeant. According to the lawsuit, the denial was due to negative comments from the promotional board. The comments included "negative references that she had five children and a husband that was on active duty in the Army."

In 2015, Gates filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. She alleges that since the time that she filed the charge, she has been retaliated against, "including...sexist and inappropriate comments in the workplace."

Officer Gates is claiming that she has suffered emotional pain, personal humiliation, mental anguish, and loss of wages and benefits. She is seeking damages through the lawsuit.

Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge released a statement to KTXS saying, "The city of Abilene denies the allegations made by the the plaintiff." He continued, "The city is vigorously defending against those allegations."

The city has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit; however, the judge has not ruled.

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