The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to settle several lawsuits against the city for alleged sexual harassment by members of the San Francisco Police Department, excessive force by jailhouse sheriffs and a claim of injury after an accident in front of a public library.
Collectively these settlements amounted to $639,500.
The first lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department was settled for $217,000 on behalf of Ernest Henderson, Janel Gotta, Aaron Rauls, Michael Perez, Arturo Pleitez, and Mack Woodfox who claimed to have been severely beaten by jailhouse sheriffs in 2005.
The lawsuit names three jailhouse guards that allegedly beat at least two defendant to the point that they were sent to General Hospital, according to an article by the Guardian.
According the article, while the case was being heard, the city attorney’s office claimed that the environment the officers worked in was difficult and some of the plaintiffs were “hardened criminals.” Perez, one of the plaintiffs, is a reputed Norteno gang member serving a 25-to-life sentence in San Quentin for murder.
Another lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department names Sherriff’s Deputy Scott Neu for sexual harassment on several occasions from May 5 to Sept. 19, 2005.
Unlike the San Francisco Police Department, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department does not have an office of citizen complains. The Sheriff’s Department staffs some 850 sheriffs who manage jails, security for City Hall and civil and criminal courts.
Inmates can file a complaint with the Internal Affairs Division of the Sheriff’s Department.
The board also voted to settle a lawsuit for $95,000 for alleged sexual harassment within the San Francisco Police Department.
The plaintiff, Joanne Lozenski, who works at the firing range in Lake Merced, claims to have been harassed multiple times by her supervisor, Rod Nakanishi, and other recruits.
Juanita Stockwell claims that Assistant Chief of Police Alex Fagan retaliated against her because she had organized a group of women that “expressed concerns” regarding the equal employment opportunity unit.
They claimed that the unit delayed investigations past 300 days so that the deadline to file complaints to outside agencies would expire.
Officer Susan Rolovich claims to have been harassed by Sergeant Joseph McKenna at the police academy and by Lieutenant Michael Connolly at the Northern Station.
While at the Northern Station, officers placed a photo of her that appeared in an SFPD publication that was “altered to make Rolovich’s breasts look larger than they appeared on the photo,” according the opening complaints in the lawsuit.
San Francisco will also settle a lawsuit against Lisa Ann Haller, who sued the city for being injured “when she tripped and fell because of negligently maintained pavement on the plaza in front of the Ortega Branch library.”
The city also decided to settle a lawsuit for $1.26 million as the plaintiffs.
The Design Partnership and Del Campo and Maru, architecture firms, were awarded a contract to rebuild the Juvenile Hall detention center.
The project was awarded in 2005 for the amount of $36.4 million to be done in 852 calendar days. The actual cost of the project was $47.4 million and took 1,514 days.
The opening complaints state “San Francisco paid the construction contractor more than $7.5 million for change order work to address design errors and omissions during the course of construction and to extend the time for construction to perform such corrective work.”
The lawsuit originally asks for $10 million in monetary damages.