MPD officials, mayor named in federal racial, sexual discrimination lawsuit

Montgomery Alabama police car

A longtime officer with the Montgomery Police Department (MPD) has filed a lawsuit against the city and MPD officials alleging racial and sexual discrimination, as well as retaliation.

Hortensia James filed a lawsuit in the federal courts in August 2017 with complaints dating back to 2013. In a 22-page complaint James spells out several instances where she alleges discrimination by her male coworkers. She also accuses former MPD Deputy Chief Ron Cook of making unwelcome sexual advances in 2015.

The lawsuit seeks damages including compensatory damages including but not limited to lost wages, lost seniority, out of pocket expenses, and emotional damages. James also requests a trial by struck jury.

Named as defendants are:

  • Former MPD Deputy Chief Ron Cook
  • City Personnel Director Carmen Douglas
  • MPD Chief Ernie Finley
  • Former MPD Deputy Chief Bryan Jurkofsky
  • MPD Cpl. Donald Lowe
  • Public Safety Director Chris Murphy
  • Director of City Investigations Ronald F. Sams
  • Former MPD Deputy Chief William S. Simmons
  • Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange
  • MPD Sgt. Bruce Thornell
  • MPD Lt. Natasha Walker
  • MPD Chief of Staff Chris Wingard
  • The City of Montgomery
  • The City Personnel Department
  • The Office of City Investigations

The City of Montgomery declined to comment to Alabama Today on the lawsuit.

View James’ full complaint below: