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BOSTON (AP) — Boston has reached a $2.4 million settlement with a high ranking female police commander who accused the department of gender discrimination, her lawyer said Wednesday.

Beth Donovan, the first woman to reach the rank of deputy superintendent of the police department’s Bureau of Field Services, was demoted to sergeant from deputy superintendent in September 2018. The demotion came after a complaint she filed. She has been kept on administrative leave and medical leave due to injuries sustained as a result of discriminatory and retaliatory treatment, her lawyer Nick Carter said.

“Beth Donovan took on the Boston Police Department simply to demand fair treatment as a woman leader there. She is pleased with the result and hopes this helps women who remain at the BPD and those who come after,” Carter said in a statement. “Hopefully with Donovan’s case and some of the other women who have recently been successful in suing for discrimination … the BPD will start to change and women won’t be punished for demanding fair and equal treatment.”

Carter confirmed a formal agreement was still being drafted. The city did not respond to a request for comment but told The Boston Globe that it wouldn’t comment until settlement documents had been signed.

Donavan’s troubles started in 2017 after she initiated an internal affairs investigations against a fellow officer and neighbor over a graduation party, according to the Globe, citing court records. Donavan accused the officer of tossing a beer can at her during the party and calling her several profanities.

The investigation prompted retaliation against Donavan, according to the court records, including spreading rumors that she has a drinking problem and taking away some of her deputy superintendent responsibilities.

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Felecia Phillips Ollie DD (h.c.) is the inspiring leader and founder of The Equality Network LLC (TEN). With a background in coaching, travel, and a career in news, Felecia brings a unique perspective to promoting diversity and inclusion. Holding a Bachelor's Degree in English/Communications, she is passionate about creating a more inclusive future. From graduating from Mississippi Valley State University to leading initiatives like the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program, Felecia is dedicated to making a positive impact. Join her journey on our blog as she shares insights and leads the charge for equity through The Equality Network.


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