Officer awarded $600,000 in HPD sexual harassment lawsuit
Yesterday, the Chronicle ran a story by Harvey Rice about the number of women on the HPD force that included the following quote:
"I don't know what they've done in Houston, but I suspect they could increase their numbers if they went to the extra effort," said Mary Ann Viverette, first vice president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
The thrust of the story was a sexual harassment lawsuit. Later in the day, Rice posted another story that began as follows:
A jury awarded the first woman on the Houston Police Department's elite motorcycle unit $600,000 today, fully agreeing with her contentions that she was sexually harassed by her supervisor and that his supervisors failed to take appropriate action.
That may partially explain the lower numbers of women on the force compared to large police departments in other cities. Unfortunately, that's $600,000 that would be better spent on cadet classes of new male and female officers, if not for the bad judgment among the HPD brass.
Incidentally, the second story by Rice yesterday was corrected in a timely and transparent manner after an error was apparently discovered. That's exactly the approach to corrections that we've been requesting. Thanks to someone at the Chronicle for listening! We hope that becomes routine.