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Female officer fired from Bismarck force sues city

January 15, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A woman who was fired from the Bismarck Police Department after 13 years on the force is suing the city and its former police chief for alleged gender discrimination and wrongful termination.

Robyn Krile claims the department took calculated measures to prevent her from advancing through the ranks and she seeks more than $100,000 in damages for pain and suffering, lost pay and other reasons.

Attorney Randall Bakke, who represents the city and now-retired Police Chief Dan Donlin, said Tuesday that “we don’t believe either her liability or damage claims have merit.”

Krile, who had achieved the rank of sergeant, was fired in March 2017 after a county prosecutor deemed her not to be a credible witness in court.

Krile alleges in her lawsuit that the department used “a systemic ruse of performance/supervisory/misconduct allegations to ‘devalue’” her and prevent her from advancing to the rank of lieutenant.

Tactics included changing promotion procedures, denying her training and purposely giving her low performance ratings during what she called unprofessional “war room” gatherings by superior officers, the lawsuit said.

“It’s the adult male equivalent of picking teams during middle school recess: the ‘different’ kid or girl who wants to play football with the boys gets picked last,” her attorney, Chris Redmann, wrote in the complaint.

The department reported Krile to the state Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, which licenses officers, for allegedly lying to others in the department. The board dismissed the case, and she was hired by the Lincoln Police Department about a month ago.

Krile’s lawsuit, filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court, comes after she lost her discrimination case before the state Department of Labor and Human Rights and the agency’s finding was upheld by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in October.

She maintains the investigation was incomplete, but Bakke said, “We believe her very substantially similar claims have already been addressed and rejected.”

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Follow Blake Nicholson on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/NicholsonBlake

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