Ex-Police Department worker alleges retaliation in lawsuits

A former Baton Rouge Police Department employee has filed lawsuits against the agency, accusing her supervisors of retaliating against her for filing discrimination complaints and taking medical leave.

Charlotte Jones, who is white, filed suit Sept. 10 in Baton Rouge District Court, says she was discriminated against because of her race, taking medical leave because of a pregnancy, and for filing complaints with the city-parish’s Human Resources department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The suit says most of Jones’ former co-workers are black.

Jones, in the lawsuit, claims she was denied due process in appealing disciplinary action and fair treatment while working for the Police Department.

Jones filed a similar federal lawsuit Oct. 5.

The lawsuits name the Police Department, Police Chief Dewayne White, Jones’ former supervisor, Sgt. Terri Braud, and the city-parish as defendants.

White declined comment, police spokesman Lt. Don Kelly said. Police Department attorney Kim Brooks also declined comment.

Jones began working in the Police Department’s criminal records division in March 2008. She was suspended two days in September 2011 and another 10 days in December for poor performance, her lawsuits say.

Jones was fired Sept. 18, according to a termination letter filed in the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court’s Office.

The termination letter accuses Jones of falling asleep on the job, tardiness, shirking duties and failing to follow supervisors’ orders, among other actions.

The termination letter says supervisors previously had reprimanded Jones for her past actions and that she provided no evidence to disprove allegations of workplace misconduct against her.

Lance Jones, Charlotte Jones’ husband and legal agent, also has posted videos on the social media website YouTube that he says show White lying about asking his wife to resign.

Lance Jones said Tuesday that he obtained the videos through a public records request.

The first video shows White speaking to Charlotte Jones at a pre-suspension hearing on Nov. 10, 2011. In that video, White can be heard asking Jones about the possibility of resignation.

In a second video, which shows a suspension appeal hearing Feb. 16, 2012, Lance Jones asks White whether anyone suggested that Charlotte Jones resign. White responds by saying no.

Lance Jones has filed his own defamation lawsuit against the Police Department in state District Court. The suit says the Police Department posted a picture of him at the front desk saying he was not allowed in the building because he threatened to harm a department employee.

“They haven’t followed any of the guidelines within classified civil service, or the progressive disciplinary policy,” Lance Jones said. “They’ve violated them I don’t know how many times. She never received a written reprimand.”