Former Baldwin Park police chief wins a gender discrimination lawsuit
A former Baldwin Park Police chief was awarded $7 million by a jury in a gender discrimination case.
Lili Hadsell, 63, was fired from her position as chief in 2013. She says that she was the victim of gender-based discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
Hadsell was first made chief in 2008. She says that the backlash against her promotion was immediate. One male officer reportedly said that he would never call “that woman” chief.
Hadsell says that her male subordinates undermined and disrespected her authority. She was called names, yelled at and subjected to explicit sexual insinuations, some of which were published in blog posts. The abuse persisted throughout her entire time as chief.
Hadsell claims she was terminated without reason and insists that this was the result of her gender. A man who Hadsell had beat out for the chief position initially succeeded her.
The city of Baldwin Park, however, does not agree with the verdict.
In a statement, Baldwin Park expressed disappointment with the ruling and that Hadsell’s firing had nothing to do with her gender. They claim that Hadsell had difficulty working with other members of the city council and noted that two of the people who voted in favor of firing Hadsell were also women.
Hadsell was overcome with emotion as the verdict was read. She says she felt vindicated and relieved and hopes the city will remain committed to fighting against sexism in the workplace.