Judge dismisses part of sex-harassment suit accusing county police


A portion of a lawsuit claiming that two Howard County police officers sexually harassed a female officer in a male "locker room"-dominated department culture has been dismissed in federal court.

But the rest of the lawsuit can proceed against Howard County and Police Chief Wayne Livesay, a U.S. District Court judge in Baltimore ruled Tuesday.

Officer Susan Ensko filed a civil rights discrimination suit in October, claiming the county police tolerated a sexually charged atmosphere that included pornography displayed on work computers, sexual insults and harassment for women who complained.

The suit named as defendants Howard County, Livesay, Sgt. Paul Steppe and Officer Perry Sauers.

U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. ruled that Sauers, Steppe and Livesay could not be held individually liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination at work. He ruled that Livesay could be held liable in his role as a supervisor.

Attorney Harriet E. Cooperman said her clients, Steppe and Sauers, were "very pleased that the case has been thrown out."

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