Jury awards $3 million to LAPD officer who alleged sexual harassment and retaliation
A Los Angeles jury has awarded $3 million to a police officer who alleged she was retaliated against — and placed under surveillance — after complaining that a supervisor sexually harassed her.
The weeklong trial came to an end late Wednesday with the 12-0 verdict, said Gregory Smith, an attorney representing the officer.
“We were very pleased with the verdict,” Smith said Thursday. “She feels completely vindicated now.”
A spokesman for the city attorney’s office said the agency was reviewing its options, including whether to appeal.
Linda Allstot, a longtime officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, accused then-Lt. Wayne Lightfoot of repeatedly leering at her body, making unwanted sexual or demeaning comments and “other sexual advances,” according to her lawsuit.
At the time, Lightfoot was Allstot’s superior, working as an adjutant to the deputy chief in charge of the Professional Standards Bureau where they worked.
The lieutenant invited Allstot on vacations to Cabo San Lucas and Lake Havasu, according to the lawsuit. As he did so, the lawsuit alleged, “his eyes traveled up and down from [Allstot’s] face to her breasts.” He also “looked up and down her body in a sexual manner” when they passed each other in hallways or spoke in his office.
In another instance, Allstot alleged, she heard Lightfoot tell another female LAPD employee, “Why don’t you come to my office and let me watch you put that in your mouth?” as she ate a sub sandwich.
The behavior caused Allstot “extreme discomfort, humiliation and disgust,” according to the lawsuit.
Lightfoot and others began to retaliate against Allstot after she refused his advances and began avoiding him, the lawsuit alleged. When she complained about his behavior to the deputy chief in charge of the bureau, the lawsuit stated, nothing was done.
At one point, undercover officers trailed Allstot — including following her to her home in Palmdale — “looking for her to do something,” Smith said.
Allstot sued in August 2015, alleging that she was subjected to a hostile work environment and retaliated against. The jury reached its decision after about 2½ hours of deliberation, Smith said Thursday.
Lightfoot retired from the LAPD last month, according to City News Service. He could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
For more LAPD news, follow me on Twitter: @katemather
Start your day right
Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.