Complaint: Chief Lanier discriminates against male officers

Four veteran D.C. Police officials allege Chief Cathy Lanier discriminates against men. They maintain she gives out harsher punishments for men than women.

Four veteran police officials filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They allege Chief Cathy Lanier lets female officers off easy while severely punishing males for the same offense.

“These are top officials, top managers saying the system is broken, things are terribly wrong inside the department,” said Kris Baumann, chair of the Fraternal Order of Police.

The group of complainants includes Commander Willie Dandridge, Commander Hilton Burton, and Captain Victor Brito. They cite ten male officers disciplined or demoted for various offenses and eight female officers who dodged similar punishment for the same behavior.

Baumann insiders say the actions will result in major lawsuits against the city.
“We are talking about million, if not tens of millions of dollars the tax payers are going to have to fund that they are not aware of,” Baumann said.

The complaining officers also allege the chief abuses her power to demote officials to influence the outcome of disciplinary boards.

Lanier is among the most popular public officials in the city, and some on the street see sour grapes. Some residents think she may be on the receiving end of resentment by male subordinates.

“When men are at the top you hear about the old boys network so women are going to have the same problem,” said District resident Heather Alexander.

Lanier has said she tries to be fair and differentiate between simple mistakes and fire-able offenses. She also said Tuesday she will be addressing this complaint later this week.