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Davis v. City of Philadelphia

August 11, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: O'neill, J.


Plaintiff Randy Davis filed his fourth amended complaint on January 30, 2009, alleging that defendants City of Philadelphia, Deputy Commissioner Charlotte Council, Captain Stephen Glenn, Lieutenant Anthony Washington, Inspector Aaron Horne, Sergeant Deborah Francis, Deputy Commissioner John Gaittens and Captain Levins*fn1 violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1963, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), 43 P.S. § 951, et seq., by engaging in discriminatory behavior against plaintiff in response to plaintiff's protected civil rights activity. Davis also alleges that defendant City of Philadelphia violated the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. § 1, et seq., the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), 29 U.S.C. § 141, et seq., and the Pennsylvania Public Employee's Relations Act (PERA), 43 P.S. § 11-1.101, et seq., by failing to comply with an arbitration award which ordered the City to restore Davis to the position he was in prior to the discriminatory acts. Davis also alleges common law breach of contract and arbitration award claims for failure to comply with an arbitration award against the City. Before me are defendants' motion to dismiss in part*fn2 and Davis' response thereto.


Davis is a sergeant in the Philadelphia police force. In 2005, he was employed in the 39th district and was supervised by defendants Glenn and Washington. Davis supervised two female officers, Smamaya Bullock and Nijema Morris. In January 2005, Morris confided to Davis that Washington had been making unwelcome sexual comments and advances towards her. Davis also claims to have observed Washington making sexual comments to Bullock and Morris. Davis claims that he conveyed the female officers' concerns to Washington, told Washington he thought his behavior was inappropriate and advised him that Morris planned to file an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint against Washington. Davis claims that after this meeting, and in response to his advocacy for the female officers, Washington began a retaliatory campaign against him.

Davis claims that Washington told Davis to keep a close watch on Morris and track any minor rule infractions. Davis claims that he responded by stating that he did not feel comfortable doing so. Davis then alleges that Washington threatened to take action against Davis if he did not follow his command regarding Morris. Davis alleges that, after that meeting, Washington told Davis that he had witnessed Morris not wearing her hat while on duty and directed Davis to recommend formal disciplinary action against Morris. Davis refused to comply.

Davis alleges that Washington retaliated against him by reassigning his work duties to defendant Francis, including the running of roll call and the preparation of daily assignment sheets. Davis alleges that he was approached by Officer Theresa Brooks who told him that she was being retaliated against by Francis for her role in an Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) investigation of Francis. Davis asserts that he told Washington about this and Davis claims that Washington and Francis agreed to allow each other to continue their retaliatory campaigns.

Davis claims that Francis participated in the retaliatory campaign against him by making false allegations and complaints. Davis alleges that Francis met with the Police Commissioner to ask that Davis be disciplined or transferred. Davis claims that he approached Glenn about the alleged harassment and retaliation. Davis claims that Glenn took Washington's side and joined the campaign to harass and retaliate against Davis.

Davis claims that Glenn,Washington and Francis wrote anonymous letters to the Police Commissioner, the Fraternal Order of Police, Channel 10 news and the IAB alleging that Davis had engaged in sexual misconduct with other police officers and was creating a hostile work environment. Davis claims that Glenn transferred him to the Differential Police Response Unit (DPR), a unit composed of officers who were under investigation. Davis alleges that defendant Council helped to effectuate the transfer.

Davis was investigated by the IAB for the charges of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. During the period of this investigation, Davis was demoted from sergeant to police officer, barred from entering the 35th and 39th districts and suspended from his employment. Davis claims that defendant Gaittens issued the orders barring Davis from the districts.

Davis appealed the charges and disciplinary measures before the investigation concluded and an arbitrator found that they were without merit. The arbitrator ordered that Davis be restored to his prior rank, salary and benefits.

Prior to the investigation, Davis had taken the Lieutenant's test and was ranked thirty-fifth on the lieutenant candidates list. Davis claims that had he not been placed under investigation he would have been promoted to lieutenant. Davis also claims that as part of the arbitrator's decision to restore him to his position his place on the lieutenant candidates list should have been restored. The arbitrator's decision did not explicitly address whether Davis' position on the list should be restored.

Davis alleges that since the arbitrator's order he has been harassed by the IAB and charged with a variety of frivolous violations and infractions. He alleges that he has been denied previously approved transfers to units with opportunities for increased income and overtime. Davis also alleges that Washington assaulted him by hitting his chair, which resulted in Davis' successful request for a transfer to another district.

Davis claims that defendants Council and Levins, both involved with the IAB, have worked together to retaliate, harass and punish Davis for civil rights advocacy on behalf of female officers and his own claims since the investigations. He claims that they have stacked the Police Board of Inquiry (PBI) against him, ensuring that defendants would be in control of the board. Davis alleges that defendant Horne participated in the retaliatory detail assignment of Davis to the DPR.

Davis claims that all of these acts were undertaken as part of an official policy or custom of the Philadelphia Police Department to retaliate against police officers who advocate for the civil rights of other officers and who refuse to engage in retaliatory actions on command. Davis claims that those of higher rank have instituted a custom of "whiteshirts sticking together" for claims of harassment and practices of retaliating ...

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