Former Ocala Police Officer files lawsuit

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. A former Ocala Police officer is suing her former chief and other city leaders for alleged discrimination.

According to a 28-page lawsuit, the former officer says she was harassed because of her gender and sexual orientation as an openly gay woman.

The lawsuit filed by former Ocala Police officer Casey Walsh alleges sexual harassment claims against Ocala Police Chief Greg Graham. The lawsuit also alleges city officials mishandled the investigation into Walsh's claims.

Bobi Frank said, “They have a right to do their job and they have a right to do so without being retaliated against, harassed and discriminated."

The lawsuit claims Walsh, as an openly gay female, was subjected to sexually charged comments regarding her appearance, her sexuality and romantic partners.

Bobi Frank said, "The only opportunity for Officer Casey Walsh to obtain justice now is in the federal court of law."

Walsh filed a complaint with the equal employment opportunity commission.

The letter claims they did not find reasonable cause behind the allegations.

TV20 reached out to the parties involved in the lawsuit and while many did not want to comment the Marion County Sheriff's Office, the City of Ocala and the Ocala Police Department released these statements.

OPD" This city has been made aware of the complaint. We will fully cooperate with the judicial process, as it develops. At this time, we have no other information to share."

MCSO SAYS, “The Sheriff's Office is aware of this lawsuit. Right now the sheriff has said that he will not comment on this since it is an active civil case."

Walsh was one of three officers to file discrimination complaints against Police Chief Greg Graham in 2016.

At that time Mayor Guinn said he supported Chief Graham.

The lawsuit claims that Walsh was retaliated against after filing that EEOC complaint.

It also states that Walsh left the department on her own in 2017 because of the alleged retaliation.

Bobi Frank said, "From day one we've given every opportunity, we've begged we've pleaded, we said please understand this isn't ok. Be the leaders that you were elected to be. They can only answer the question as to why they had the choices that they have."

The defendants, in this case, have twenty days to respond.