A former chief of the Baldwin Park Police Department won a $7 million settlement Tuesday for a gender discrimination lawsuit she filed against the city nearly five years earlier.
The suit alleges Lili Hadsell, chief of police from 2008 to 2013, was subjected to prejudicial treatment that ultimately led to her firing. It also accuses the department of promoting Hadsell to the position as a form of “tokenism” as the city “paraded her around as a prop to celebrate themselves for having a female police chief.”
Hadsell reported the harassment multiple times to officials including her supervisor, city council members, the city manager and Baldwin Park Mayor Manuel Lozano, who dismissed her concerns when she first complained nearly 10 years ago, according to her attorney Carney Shegerian.
The $7,020,000 settlement awarded Tuesday follows a drawn out legal battle between Hadsell and the city of Baldwin Park. The lawsuit was first filed on June 13, 2014 but a number of claims were dismissed in the following months before it was refiled on Feb. 13, 2015, KTLA reports.
Hadsell worked for the city of Baldwin Park for 14 years, beginning on Dec. 27, 1999.
She was already a decorated officer upon joining the force, previously earning Employee of the Year, the Outstanding Service Award and other commendations at the San Marino Police Department, according to the Baldwin Park Police Department website. Hadsell was just the second female officer there when she was hired in 1983.
The multimillion-dollar settlement includes damages for lost wages, emotional and psychological distress, humiliation, legal fees and other costs.