Normandy city employees allege racism, sexual harassment, and retaliation in multiple lawsuits

A range of workers — including police officers — have filed suits against the city of Normandy, a suburb of St. Louis.

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Employees in the St. Louis suburb of Normandy are adding their names to a growing pile of lawsuits against the city that allege discriminatory treatment, harassment and retaliation against whistleblowers. 

There have been at least three lawsuits filed by a range of Normandy employees, including police officers, as well as a lawsuit by the mayor against the city council, according to local reporting from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

An officer of the Normandy Police Department looks on during a 2015 press conference about a police-involved shooting in Normandy, Missouri. (Phot: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Mayor Mark Beckmann has been in the hot seat for over a year as council members threaten to impeach him. The Post-Dispatch notes that dysfunction and discord are found in many of the 88 municipalities that make up the “political jigsaw puzzle” that is greater St. Louis. 

In Normandy, the first city employee to sue did so last spring. Kevin Gibson, a fired public works employee, alleged in federal court that Maurice Hunt, the Black man serving as interim mayor at the time, was trying to replace white employees. 

The second action came from former City Clerk Sharon Warren, and Kathy Tracy, a housing and police clerk, who named Hunt in their federal lawsuit, alleging that he fostered a hostile work environment and made comments like, “Don’t hire white people.” 

Hunt denied the allegations, saying the women were fired for cause. A current member of the Normandy City Council, he told The Post-Dispatch, “I would never say any of those things. I’m fine with all white people. I believe in equal opportunity for all.”

A third lawsuit came from police sergeant Tameika Sanders, a Black woman, who alleges the city and its police department allowed a “hyper-sexualized atmosphere.” There, she claims, she was groped by fellow officers, and male officers exposed themselves to her, plus made racist and sexist comments. 

Sanders also alleges that she was frequently passed over for better opportunities. According to The Post-Dispatch, the city council voted to fire her in July of last year despite what Beckmann had called her previous “exemplary” service. That action prompted a law firm that represented the city of Normandy to drop them as a client “due to the refusal of council members to follow legal advice.” 

Another employee sued after being suspended for warning officials on how the Sanders case could negatively impact the city. 

Two more Black women, Normandy’s former human resources manager Leslie Rogers and Public Works Director Regina Fitzgerald, also filed EEOC complaints last year against the city, citing discrimination. 

Normandy is 10 minutes east of St. Louis and has a population of less than 4,500, according to 2020 census data. 

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