Published: Tuesday, December 14, 2010
By SULAIMAN ABDUR-RAHMAN / Staff Writer
TRENTON — Lesbian New Jersey State Police Sgt. Christine Shallcross, who remains suspended without pay on unsubstantiated allegations she sexually harassed another trooper, is suing the state on a complaint that Jersey authorities discriminated against her for being gay.
Shallcross, 44, of Woodbine, Ocean County, on Monday filed a state Superior Court lawsuit in Mercer County that accuses state police and the state Office of the Attorney General of conspiring to violate her civil rights and discriminating against her because of her sexual orientation.
“I believe we will be able to prove every statement in that complaint,” Shallcross’ attorney, George T. Daggett, told The Trentonian on Tuesday.
New Jersey State Police and the Office of the Attorney General on Tuesday said they haven’t been served with the complaint yet. Both agencies declined to comment on the pending litigation.
In addition to Shallcross suing the state, her eight-page complaint also lists Jersey Trooper Alexis Hayes as one of the 11 defendants named in the lawsuit.
Daggett said the conspiracy against Shallcross began in January 2009 when Hayes, 30, of Berlin, accused Shallcross of harassment on unsubstantiated allegations Shallcross said “Hayes, I love you” before later kissing her on the cheek, among other allegations that haven’t been proven.
Hayes’ sexual harassment lawsuit against Shallcross in U.S. District Court was dismissed, according to Daggett. Hayes also filed departmental harassment charges against Shallcross in the state police disciplinary system, and those charges were dismissed, too, Daggett said.
In May, Pennsylvania prosecutors decided not to charge New Jersey State Police Lt. Thomas King, who himself was accused by Hayes of getting her drunk, raping her and getting her pregnant while they served on a funeral assignment near Pittsburgh in April 2009.
State police on Tuesday confirmed that Shallcross remains suspended without pay, which has been her status since Dec. 29, 2009. But state police also confirmed that Trooper Hayes is also suspended from the force without pay, though state police wouldn’t give details other than to say Hayes’ suspension is unrelated to Shallcross.
Shallcross’ civil action lawsuit complaint appears to provide insight into why Hayes is suspended without pay: “Even though Alexis Hayes was arrested on three separate occasions for violations of the laws of the state of New Jersey, the state police continued to treat her with kid gloves and facilitated her actions to violate the civil rights of the plaintiff (Shallcross),” the lawsuit says. Continued…