Cleveland: CPC Director Did Not Violate Harassment, Workplace Policies

Cleveland City Hall
Cleveland City Hall [Matt Richmond / ideastream]

An investigator hired by the city of Cleveland didn’t find sufficient evidence that the Community Police Commission’s director broke city policies, according to a report released today.

In written complaints and a lawsuit, former employees had accused the director, Jason Goodrick, of sexual harassment and discrimination.

Goodrick was placed on paid leave in April pending an investigation. The city's human resources and law departments hired attorney Diane Citrino to examine claims about the workplace environment.

Bethany Studenic, Rosemary Jovic and Chinenye Thompson filed the suit against Goodrick and the city earlier this month.

“There are conflicting versions of relevant events,” the report reads. “It is necessary to weigh the credibility of the witnesses to resolve such conflicts.”

Although the review found no policy violations, it recommended that the city consider a pre-disciplinary conference for Goodrick. It also suggested that all employees receive anger management training.

“Some of the conduct uncovered during the investigation may warrant counseling or disciplinary action,” the report reads.

The three employees recorded complaints about Goodrick in a series of memos, according to the report, culminating in a March 29 memo accusing him of stomping, slamming a door and invading their personal space.

The review says others present at the location did not report seeing that behavior.

Studenic said that Goodrick made comments about her appearance, touched her knee, and engaged in other harassing behavior.

The city’s review concluded the evidence was “insufficient to show intent to sexually harass,” saying that Studenic initially denied Goodrick had touched her and hadn’t mentioned harassment allegations in earlier memos, emails and text messages. 

In a phone interview, the three employees’ attorney criticized the findings of the investigation.

“This is a common situation where a woman—happens to men, too—but a woman is sexually harassed and is afraid to come forward because the person that’s harassing her is in a position of power over her,” Claire Wade-Kilts said.

Wade-Kilts said her clients intend to move forward with the lawsuit. All three have left their jobs with the CPC.

The Community Police Commission was created as part of the consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department to recommend policy changes in the Cleveland police department.

Read the city's HR report below:

 

Read the employees' lawsuit below:

 

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