File photo - Portsmouth police car

Sep 22, 2016 9:45 AM

Portsmouth police detective suing city for $975K for sexual descrimination

PORTSMOUTH — A long-time member of the Portsmouth police force is suing the city for $975,000 plus interest in damages over sexual discrimination.

Detective Kristyn Bernier, a 22-year veteran of the force, claims that she was unfairly passed over for promotions and targeted for speaking out about superiors.

"The Portsmouth Police Department administration has been participating in pervasive and harassing conduct toward [Bernier]," her lawyer Kirsten Wilson said in the lawsuit.

The suit references attempts to discredit Bernier, suspensions due to speaking her mind among peers and threats of disciplinary action when she complied with orders from superiors, according to the Union Leader.

A large part of the lawsuit relates to Bernier's work with former Deputy Police Chief Corey MacDonald who, Bernier said, experienced a conflict of interest in investigating a local man while doing business with him.

MacDonald, who is retired, said in a statement that "this complaint is not a surprise, as Kristyn Bernier has been threatening suit for years."

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