The Florida Highway Patrol’s highest-ranking female officer has filed a gender-discrimination suit against the department for firing her last year.
Major Rebecca Tharpe claims the firing was payback for a gender-discrimination suit she settled in 2005. Tharpe has been called a “trailblazer” for fighting what she calls a “culture of discrimination against women” in the patrol. Last year, the Florida chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association honored her with a “courage at work” award, and she was a finalist for the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.
The Highway Patrol’s director, Christopher Knight, has a different take: Tharpe “has a pattern of taking action against the department when she does not receive promotions or positions that she believes are her inherent rights because of her gender.”
It’s up to the courts to decide whose version is closer to the truth.