Spirit Lake Police Chief Being Investigated - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spirit Lake Police Chief Being Investigated For Sexual Harassment

SPIRIT LAKE, Idaho-  The Chief of Police in Spirit Lake, Pat Lawless, is being accused of sexual harassment and being investigated by Post Falls Police.
 
A tort claim seeking 5 million dollars in damages was filed by former Spirit Lake police officer Crystal Sudol. The claim states that Sudol endured sexual harassment both verbal and physical from Chief Lawless during her time working at the department. In the claim Sudol says the Chief "created a hostile working environment for females and did batter and assault Sudol".

Spirit Lake Mayor Todd Clary is also coming under fire in the claim which states "the mayor took great lengths to sweep this matter under the rug" even after Sudol had went to Clary with her concerns. It claims Clary and Lawless are good friends and that's why there was no action taken. The complaint states that Sudol was told by the Mayor that "if there wasn't a sexual touching, it wasn't sexual harassment", and if it was sexual touching Lawless would have "been immediately fired."
 
KHQ spoke with Chief Pat Lawless over the phone who said "I would really love to be able to defend myself, but its best we don't make any comments on this right now." KHQ also asked Lawless if he believes he should step down as police Chief, he replied "well I don't want to make a comment on that right now, we will have to see how this all plays out." Phone calls to Mayor Todd Clary and voice mails were not returned.
 
According to Lawless Crystal Sudol was a police officer at Spirit Lake from March 2011 to November 2011, that's when, according to the tort claim Sudol was "constructively discharged from her position of employment."

The Post Falls police department have confirmed they are investigating Pat Lawless for a "seperate matter". KHQ sent a public records request to Post Falls police pertaining to the investigation of Pat Lawless. Police would not release any records because it's an "On going investigation." KHQ has confirmed Post Falls police were called to Lawless' home a few weeks ago on a welfare check.
 
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