COURT NEWS: PAYOFF BY MARYLAND TAXPAYERS FOR DIRTY DEEDS & DISCRIMINATION OF ST. MARY’S SHERIFF TIM CAMERONS, AND HIS SUPERVISORS AGAINST A FEMALE DEPUTY
THE MARYLAND BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS APPROVED THE SETTLEMENT OF LITIGATION BROUGHT BY FORMER DEPUTY ELIZABETH O’CONNOR, WITH PAYMENT AND HER ATTORNEY’S FEES
By using taxpayer funds to settle this discrimination lawsuit, the State of Maryland and St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron admit the allegations are true.
HIGHLIGHTS OF LAWSUIT (The full text is inserted in this news story below)
Plaintiff is a female police officer who joined the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department in 2000. She initially sought a position in the K-9 Division in 2007 but was not selected. Eventually [date not specified in complaint] she became the first female canine handler in the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department. After she joined the K-9 unit, her coworkers and supervisors made a number of sexually disparaging comments. In 2008, Plaintiff complained about mistreatment from her supervisor, and the supervisor was removed. Plaintiff was labeled a troublemaker because of the complaint.
Sexist remarks and old-fashioned butt-slapping
A new supervisor was appointed who also made disparaging comments along with male coworkers. For example, coworkers said “women could never advance ‘without spreading [their] legs.’” (ECF No. 15 ¶ 15). Other times coworkers treated her less favorably and used gender-based slurs. One of her supervisors slapped her on the buttocks with a water jug. When Plaintiff’s dog had a tooth problem, she was forced to take him to the veterinarian on her own time, although a male coworker was given a “duty day.” (Id. ¶ 21).
She asserts that this caused a loss of pay.
Plaintiff complained to a supervisor on May 13, 2011. No investigation took place.
Referred to shrink for being a nutcase when she complained – attaboy, guys, smooth move!
Instead, Plaintiff was repeatedly investigated for de minimis violations. After her complaint, Plaintiff was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation to determine her fitness for duty. Her dog retired that summer, and Plaintiff was not given another dog. A new male officer was instead assigned to the K-9 unit, and Plaintiff was assigned to patrol. (ECF No. 15 ¶¶ 22, 23).2
Plaintiff filed a charge with the EEOC alleging discrimination on the basis of gender on July 18, 2011. The charge alleged that the discrimination began on November 1, 2010, and took place as late as June 13, 2011, and was a continuing action. She did allege, however, that she had been treated differently due to gender from the beginning of her employment. Plaintiff received her notice of right to sue from the EEOC on August 18, 2017.
The following record reveals the action of the Maryland Board of Public Works November 16, 2022, meeting in the State House.
23. SHERIFF FOR ST. MARY’S COUNTY, MARYLAND
Recommendation: The Sheriff for St. Mary’s County, Maryland, through the Office of the Attorney General, requests approval to pay a settlement of all claims, including claims for attorneys’ fees, against defendant in the matter of Elizabeth O’Connor v. Timothy K. Cameron, United States District Court for the District of Maryland, No. 8:17- cv-03394-CBD.
Authority: Sections 12-404 and 12-501, State Government Article, Annotated Code of Maryland
Request Amount: $65,000
Fund Source: State Insurance Trust Fund
Appropriation Code: B0244
Requesting Agency’s Remarks: The Sheriff for St. Mary’s County, Maryland, and the Office of the Attorney General recommend paying $65,000 to settle all claims, including attorneys’ fees, as in the best interest of the State.
If this settlement is approved, a check should be issued payable to “Elizabeth O’Connor and her attorneys, Byrd and Byrd, LLC.” in the amount of $65,000.00. The check should be delivered to John J. Kuchno, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General of Maryland, 200 St. Paul Place, 20th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, who will deliver it to the plaintiff’s attorney and ensure that all of the necessary documentation and releases are complete.