Rockford Police Officer Sues City and Police Chief Over Promotion Dispute

By: Meghan Dwyer Email
By: Meghan Dwyer Email

(ROCKFORD - WIFR) Steve Tamasino has been a Rockford Police Officer since 1987. In the spring of 2011 his wife, who was also a police officer, claimed she was sexually harassed at work by two other cops.

According to the lawsuit, the City of Rockford Human Resources Department found that she had in fact been harassed, and the actions of the accused officers would make any reasonable woman feel uncomfortable.

During the ordeal, Tomasino says he stuck up for his wife, even telling the Department he witnessed some of the harassment himself.

Later that spring, Rockford Police posted 11 open positions for the rank of investigator. Thirteen people applied and nine were given jobs. Tomasino, who claims he was more qualified than most other applicants, was passed over for the promotion.

His lawyer says it was because Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson was retaliating against him for standing up for his wife.

The lawsuit seeks nearly a million dollars in damages, but Tomasino's lawyer says it's not about the money - it's about getting a job he deserves.

His wife Gina resigned from the police department because of stress.

The City of Rockford says it handled the situations appropriately and will be responding to the allegations in court shortly.


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