Lawsuit accuses Independence police chief of sexual harassing, assaulting former employee

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A former Independence Police Department employee's lawsuit accuses the city of Independence and its police chief of more than one alleged incident of sexual harassment and assault.

According to the suit, the woman claims she was subjected to "repeated instances of sexually charged and assaultive behavior."

In the lawsuit, the woman says a civilian employee took a rolled map and hit her on the bottom, saying it was "too big a target not to try to hit." She informed a supervisor but says no action was taken.

The lawsuit also details another incident where a coworker allegedly said the woman didn't "do it for me because you are too old."

The suit specifically names Brad Halsey, the current Independence chief of police, who at the time was deputy chief and the woman's supervisor.

In the suit, the woman alleges Halsey sent offensive text messages to her, telling her to send pictures of her swimming suit and her breasts, which she says she did not send.

The former employee's lawsuit says similar behavior happened "on a regular basis" and culminated when Halsey allegedly touched the woman in an "offensive manner" in May 2013. The suit says Halsey asked the woman to fix his tie then allegedly grabbed her and pulled her up against him.

According to the suit, the woman walked away, and Halsey allegedly followed her to her desk, asking her to look at his pants and saying, "Are they too tight?"

The woman who filed the lawsuit is seeking $500,000 along with additional punitive damages and is requesting a jury trial.

The city of Independence released the following statement in regard to the lawsuit's allegations:

"We will not speak to any active litigation against the City or any of its employees. However, due to the serious nature of the allegations associated with this case we can say an investigation has been started. As this is a personnel matter, the findings will not be made public."