Victoria Benson has filed suit against the city of Denville, where she once served, claiming she was harassed, discriminated against and even assaulted while working as the city’s only female police officer.
Benson began working for the Denville Police Department in 2000. Her lawsuit claims fellow officers constantly berated her because of her weight, clothing and sexuality.
She charges that officers would refuse to provide assistance when she requested it. At one point, she asked her supervisor to wear a hidden microphone to document the abuse. The request was denied. From that point on, she alleges, the abuse accelerated. Benson says her supervisors charged her with disciplinary infractions in an attempt to build a case to fire her.
She initially sued in 2008, but withdrew that lawsuit when the department dropped several disciplinary charges.
Eventually, the harassment took its toll. After Benson quit in June 2010—she says she was forced out of the department—she sued again in Superior Court in Morristown.
The suit charges the police department created a hostile work environment, retaliated against her for complaining and wrongly discharged her. Benson seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.