Officer files lawsuit against Ohio State Highway Patrol; claims harassment for gender, race

Ohio State Highway Patrol Officer Norma Scott (Photo provided by Scott's attorney)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An officer with the Ohio State Highway Patrol has filed a lawsuit against the agency, stating she faced harassment based on her race and gender and faced retaliation for reporting it.

Officer Norma Scott accepted a position with the OSHP in June 2013 as a police officer and is the only African American female officer employed there, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed on June 7 against OSHP and a supervisor for Scott. According to the lawsuit, the situation began when the supervisor allegedly made comments during a statewide training session on terrorism in June 2017, saying “we need to get rid of them people like Paris did.”

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According to the complaint sent to 10TV by Scott’s attorney, Scott asked the supervisor what he meant, to which he replied, “Brown people like you, but they will not give Trump credit for this idea.”

Scott then filed a complaint about the interaction, which led to an internal investigation and a three-day suspension for the supervisor from August 16 to August 18, 2017.

The lawsuit alleges that the supervisor began making it difficult for Scott to perform her job functions due to ongoing acts of harassment and retaliation.

Those actions included the supervisor allegedly initiating numerous internal investigations into Scott for minor infractions, denying Scott’s time off requests, saying Scott was not “reliable” or “dependable” and withholding payments.

The lawsuit states Scott had to receive medical treatment as a result of the retaliation and alleges that OSHP failed to take appropriate action regarding the concerns.

After 10TV reached out to OSHP, a spokesperson said they cannot discuss the pending litigation.

Scott released this statement regarding the lawsuit:

I am not the only minority at the Patrol that has experienced these types of things, but I think others are afraid to come forward because of the fear of retaliation. I can’t be scared anymore. I have to take a stand and shed some light on the situation, or they will keep pushing it under the rug.”

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