The Latest: Lawyer: Officers who sued will be protected

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on Philadelphia Police Commissioner (all times local):

4:55 p.m.

A lawyer for two police officers whose sexual harassment lawsuit led Philadelphia’s police commissioner to resign says the city has promised both women they won’t be retaliated against or endure more transfers.

Cpl. Audra McCowan and Patrol Officer Jennifer Allen say they’ve been harassed throughout the year after filing internal complaints.

Lawyer Ian Bryson says the women filed suit after years of inaction by the department. He says both women are now out on medical leave. But he says a scheduled court hearing Wednesday was canceled after the city promised job protections while the case plays out.

McCowan says Commissioner Richard Ross ignored her complaints because she once broke off an affair with him. Ross denies retaliation.

The Associated Press does not identify people who say they are sexual harassment victims without their permission, which Bryson has given on their behalf.


1:55 p.m.

Two female police officers whose sexual harassment lawsuit led to the resignation of Philadelphia’s police commissioner have reached a temporary agreement with the city over their fears of retaliation.

A lawsuit filed this month says their complaints of being physically and verbally harassed by colleagues were ignored. One accuses outgoing Commissioner Richard Ross of doing nothing because of what she calls a two-year affair with him that she broke off in 2011.

Ross said Wednesday he has never retaliated against anyone. He says he stepped down Tuesday for the good of the city he loves.

The women say they’ve been given undesirable jobs and suffered stress-related medical problems.

A court document cancelling Wednesday’s hearing says the two sides have reached an agreement on their request for job protections. Their lawyer did not return a call seeking comment.


11:45 a.m.

Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross says his abrupt resignation was completely voluntary and he has never “sought retribution” on anyone.

Speaking outside police headquarters Wednesday, Ross says his love for the city compelled him to make a decision that was bigger than him.

Ross resigned Tuesday, a day after two female officers say their complaints of being physically and verbally harassed by supervisors and colleagues were ignored by department brass.

One woman said Ross ignored her reports of sexual harassment because she broke off an affair with Ross.

Ross says he’s “never sought retribution on a person, personally or professionally.”

The suit claims members of the police department engaged in sexual harassment and racial and gender discrimination against them.

The women will ask a federal judge Wednesday to protect them from retaliation on the job

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