Fresno's Police Chief named in lawsuit

FRESNO, Calif.

The suit claims the chief made several inappropriate comments that made his top cops feel threatened.

The nine page document, filed Thursday in superior court alleges that Police Chief Jerry Dyer created a hostile work environment but the chief's attorney says a five month investigation by an independent law firm concluded these allegations were unfounded.

The lawsuit alleges that since 2003 Deputy Chiefs Robert Nevarez and Sharon Shaffer were subjected to harassment, retaliation and discrimination.

The suit claims that on several occasions the chief used racial terms when referring to those of ethnic background, for example calling African Americans "brothers."

Attorneys representing the chief say the claims listed in the lawsuit are either taken out of context, embellished or mis-stated.

The suit also alleges Chief Dyer made offensive and demeaning comments about women including references to clothing and personal attributes.

Now the chief's attorney says numerous police department employees were interviewed as part of the deputy chief's claims and their investigation determined there was no hostile work environment.

Nevarez and Shaffer have been on paid administrative leave since they made these allegations in October of last year.

The attorneys representing Deputy Chiefs Nevarez and Shaffer issued a statement to Action News saying that since the city has disregarded their complaints, they have been forced to file this lawsuit to address their concerns.

No monetary amount is listed in the lawsuit.

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