The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has dismissed fired police officer Janine D. England’s discrimination claim against Perry Township officials, but her attorney plans to gather additional information to support her complaint.
TThe U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has dismissed fired police officer Janine D. England’s discrimination claim against township officials, but her attorney plans to gather additional information to support her complaint.
Cleveland civil rights attorney Avery Friedman called the ruling preliminary, and by no means final, and said he plans to gather additional information about how the township has dealt with probationary employees to submit to the EEOC.
England is known for her intimate liaison with former Police Chief Timothy Escola in a police cruiser on a trip to Cincinnati in 2009. Escola retired a day before the cruiser camera video surfaced.
She offered her resignation a week later, but township trustees fired her instead, after an internal investigation showed she willingly participated in the behavior and was not coaxed by Escola.
England, 31, of Sri Lanka, focused her discrimination complaint on the trustees’ decision to fire her instead of accept her resignation. She claims she was treated differently from other employees who faced discipline but were permitted to resign.
A part-time officer, England had been on the force three months. Both she and Escola were married at the time of the encounter. England filed the complaint in hopes of having her professional record expunged and a chance to return to her job.
Township Law Director Charles Hall recommended the firing so that England could not make future claims that she was forced to resign. Hall says the EEOC ruling is a victory for the township.
“It’s the right ruling,” Hall said Thursday.
The EEOC did not make any findings in the case and issued to England what is known as a notice of the right to ssue, which allows her a 90-day window to file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court. Friedman, however, plans to submit additional evidence to the EEOC in hopes it will reconsider. A district director can reconsider the case.
Friedman said he is trying to contact Escola, who is believed to be working in Afghanistan, to gather information about the case.
The EEOC attempts to reach a settlement with an employer if it finds a violation of law. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case is referred either to agency attorneys or the U.S. Department of Justice to consider filing a lawsuit on behalf of the complainant.