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Officer Wins $80,000 in Harassment Suit : Settlement: The out-of-court agreement was reached days before accusations against former chief went to arbitration.

April 08, 1993|JILL GOTTESMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

BELL GARDENS — A Bell Gardens police officer who in 1991 accused the police chief of sexual harassment will receive $80,000 in an out-of-court settlement, city officials said.

In her suit, Officer Stephanie Lynn Point said former Chief William L. Donohoe began making sexual advances within days after she was hired for the night shift in 1990.

Donohoe, who left the city in 1992 and now lives in Palm Desert, denied Point's allegations in a 1991 response to the complaint, but did not elaborate. He did not return phone calls from The Times.

Point said in the suit that Donohoe called her into his office several times and asked her about her personal life, then called her at home several times and asked her to attend concerts or have dinner or cocktails with him. Point declined his invitations, according to the suit.

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Donohoe also told Point that he was "intrigued" by her and her thoughts, and that he was having "sexually intimate dreams" about her, according to the suit.

Point claimed Donohoe told her that he was "going to get myself in trouble with you someday, huh?"

The suit said Point feared that her career was in jeopardy because she rejected Donohoe's alleged advances.

The settlement was reached days before the case was scheduled to go to arbitration. The city will pay $20,000, and the rest will be paid by an insurance pool that covers Bell Gardens and several cities, said Michael Martinet, city risk manager.

Point, who did not return calls, continues to work as a patrol officer in the city, said her attorney, Lalia Fernia.

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