Former City Worker Wins Harassment Suit

A former Anaheim street-sweeper driver who claimed she was insulted, groped and intimidated by co-workers was awarded $75,000 Tuesday by an Orange County Superior Court jury.

While the jury found in favor of Donnell P. Niehaus for the sexual harassment suit she brought against the city, jurors did not find enough evidence to support Niehaus’ second claim that she was also a victim of unlawful gender discrimination.

Niehaus, 38, of Anaheim, testified that she complained, without results, to her supervisors that her peers in the Street Maintenance Department exposed themselves, made crude comments toward her and, in one case, fondled her breasts.

City attorneys presented 18 department employees who countered the accounts of Niehaus and the lone former employee who testified on her behalf.

“They believed her because she told the truth,” said Benjamin F. Card, the attorney for Niehaus, who was seeking $500,000.