Docs: KHSD police officer claims discrimination, sexual harassment
2:22 PM, Aug 8, 2018
2:46 PM, Aug 8, 2018
*WARNING: This story may contain details of an explicit nature that some may find offensive.
Court documents obtained by 23ABC detail allegations by Anthony McCarthy, who is filing a lawsuit against the Kern High School District and the district's Board of Trustees.
There are 10 complaints listed in the suit, including discrimination, harassment based on race and sexual harassment.
According to documents, McCarthy began working for the school district in May 2016. Before that he worked for the Bakersfield Police Department.
The suit claims McCarthy, who is black, had "been targeted by racially motivated behavior from other officers including those of higher ranking," while working for the KHSD.
It goes on to say, "McCarthy has been discriminated against and harassed because he is African American. Mr. McCarthy has also been sexually harassed."
It also claims the district and KHSD police "ignored Mr. McCarthy's repeated reports of violations of Defendants' policy and refused to allow Mr. McCarthy to investigate a criminal complaint of harassment by an African American female security guard further demonstrating systematic racist behavior within KHSD and its associated police Defendants."
Some of the specific allegations include:
Around October 2016, it is claimed that McCarthy was prohibited from investigating and reporting assault and harassment complaints that were brought against security guard Brian Kamanchi. His statements about the alleged sexual harassment and assault led to adverse employment actions (administrative leave, delayed investigation of complaints, failure to timely resolve complaints, denial of overtime hours and opening up unwarranted internal affairs investigations.
Around August 2016, while working at Golden Valley High School, McCarthy claims he received adverse treatment from Principal Paul Helman simply because he was not a "Spanish speaking officer."
Around Oct. 31, 2017, two delinquent students were called to the Dean's office of Mira Monte High School, for allegedly burglarizing a nearby store the day before. The students allegedly called McCarthy racial slurs, including the n-word. They also threatened to fight him. McCarthy requested approval to arrest the students, but was denied. The complaint claims McCarthy is the only officer within the KHSDPD who is required to seek approval before an arrest. It claims the practice was put into place by Chief Ed Komin.
It is also claimed that McCarthy deals with "epithets and racist undertones on a daily basis." In one instance, it is alleged that an Officer Money "made racist comments regarding African American students' future and how rap music 'makes [him] want to go out and rob a liquor store."
In December 2016, after McCarthy reported unwanted sexual advances from a man named Pablo Reyes, Komin allegedly removed McCarthy from the Golden Valley High School campus and assigned him to remedial training at other schools. It is also claimed that union president Shane Dishman threatened McCarthy saying that Komin would assign him to a school site in Lake Isabella, about an hour and a half from McCarthy's residence.
In October 2016, the suit claims McCarthy was subjected to unwanted sexual advances by Pablo Reyes, the dean of students for Golden Valley High School. McCarthy allegedly reported the sexual harassment to the administration. The complaint claims the chief of police did not allow an investigation into the claims. A subsequent investigation allegedly claimed the acts were attributed to "social awkwardness" and no disciplinary action was taken against Reyes.
It is also claimed that while working at Mira Monte High School, McCarthy was sexually harassed by assistant dean Leah Hatton. The complaint claims "Hatton called Mr. McCarthy into her office and showed him an extremely graphic picture of a Caucasian woman's face, covered with semen with a large penis next to it." McCarthy reported the incident, but no action was taken.
23ABC reached out to the Kern High School District seeking comment, but the district would not comment.
McCarthy and his attorney are scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 14.