LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Female LMPD officer claims police, city ignored sexual harassment


A Louisville Metro Police lieutenant has filed a lawsuit against the department and Metro Government, claiming she was sexually harassed by another officer and the department tried to cover it up.

The officer, who is not being named by WDRB News because she is an alleged victim of sexual harassment, filed the lawsuit in Jefferson Circuit Court on Tuesday through attorneys Thomas Clay and Pete Lay.

The lawsuit accuses Lt. Robert Shadle of texting the female officer a photo of man "holding his erect penis and testicles" on Feb. 11, 2016 and writing, "Thinking about you."

The female officer responded, according to the suit, "hey jackass you are texting the wrong f_____ person stupid." The two officers had a "strictly professional relationship," according to the suit.

The plaintiff claims she told Major Kelly Jones about the text, but he responded that it was likely sent by accident.

"Don't take this wrong," Jones allegedly told the officer, "but there are plenty of fish out there and I just don't think this was meant for you."

Another lieutenant in that meeting told Jones he was "bound" to take the matter to police officials for a formal investigation but Jones responded he was not "bound by anything," according to the lawsuit. Instead, Jones said he would reprimand Shadle.

Metro government and police officials do not comment on pending litigation. Shadle had not been criminally charged and could not immediately be reached for comment.

The lawsuit accuses Chief Steve Conrad of allowing the incident to be dealt with without an investigation, as long as the alleged victim would agree not to file a formal complaint.

At the same time, Shadle texted the alleged victim asking to talk with her, according to the lawsuit. She did not reply.

Instead, the victim talked with police investigators. After this, according to the lawsuit, Conrad apologized for the way the incident was handled.

On April 11, 2016, after an internal investigation, Shadle was suspended 20 days for "inappropriate" and "obscene" texts, according to records in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims Shadle continues to approach and talk to the woman, despite orders to stay away from her.

The suit is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.