Lawsuit emerges against Fort Collins after accusations of discrimination

Delaney Allen

Following accusations of gender and age discrimination, the City of Fort Collins, former Interim Police Chief Terrence Jones and former Deputy Chief Jerry Schiager are facing lawsuits in U.S. District Court.

Lori Frank, 51, filed the lawsuit Dec. 14 that implicated that the City, Jones and Schiager discriminated against her after she claimed she complained of unfair treatment of women in the department.

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Frank, a crime analyst for the Fort Collins Police Services, has been an employee at FCPS for more than 20 years; she claims that she was given insufficient ratings by Schiager after he became her superior, years after an alleged incident in which he attempted to take credit for a monthly management report that she wrote. The report was described as “instrumental in certain discussions and decisions related to Fort Collins Police Services,” according to the lawsuit.

Then-Police Chief John Hutto reportedly reprimanded Schiager for his treatment of Frank.
However, Schiager became Frank’s supervisor a year later, where he allegedly used his power and authority to give her insufficient ratings.

The lawsuit states that “Prior to becoming her direct supervisor, Schiager participated in and/or condoned conduct that was demeaning and disrespectful toward women.” Similarly, two officers had filed lawsuits alleging racial discrimination in the department.

Frank’s lawsuit alleges that along with poor evaluations and ratings, Schiager hired a younger man to perform Frank’s responsibilities and paid him more than Frank. He also allegedly provided Frank with a “performance improvement plan.”

Schiager and Jones deny any wrongdoing and allege that the charges are outside the 2-year statute of limitations for civil suits.

According to the Coloradoan, the City and Jones are represented in court by Jenny Lopez Filkins, the senior assistant city attorney, and Wells, Anderson & Race of Denver. Schiager is being represented by David DeMuro of Denver. Frank is represented by attorney Jennifer Robinson of Aurora.

This is a developing story. Stay with The Collegian for further coverage of the lawsuit this week. 

Delaney Allen is available at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @DelaneyAllen0.