Southampton Town Police Gender Discrimination Suit Settled

The Town of Southampton has settled another gender-discrimination lawsuit involving a high-ranking female police official.

The town recently reached a $120,000 settlement with Lt. Susan Ralph, who said she was passed over for promotions given to male officers and experienced retaliation after complaining to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The town has continued to deny any wrongdoing. 

The settlement comes after nearly three years of litigation, and five years after she first filed the complaint. She sued in federal court in February 2015, one month before becoming the department’s first female lieutenant. 

According to Lieutenant Ralph’s attorney, Matthew Weinick, the town’s insurance carrier will pay a significant portion of the settlement, including paying a part of her legal fees. The agreement also provides her with other “equitable proceeds,” including the return of some vacation and sick time, which she alleged she had lost as a result of the discrimination and retaliation. 

“The parties state that the settlement was reached based on their agreement that continued litigation would be costly and time-consuming,” the statement said. 

“It was in the best interests of the town and the Police Department to find a resolution which could end this prolonged litigation, and we’re happy that we’re able to do so,” James Burke, the Southampton Town attorney, said in the joint statement. 

“Litigation is always uncertain, and with this settlement comes some closure and peace of mind of Lieutenant Ralph,” Mr. Weinick said. 

Detective Sgt. Lisa Costa filed a discrimination suit in 2013, which was settled in August 2017. She was reported to have received $300,000, in addition to other compensation.