Former sergeant sues Delaware State Police

Oldham claims sexual discrimination, retaliation

By Craig Anderson
Posted 6/8/21

WILMINGTON — A former Delaware State Police sergeant is suing the agency, alleging sex discrimination and retaliation by troopers during her 16-year career there.

Among other allegations, …

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Former sergeant sues Delaware State Police

Oldham claims sexual discrimination, retaliation

Posted

WILMINGTON — A former Delaware State Police sergeant is suing the agency, alleging sex discrimination and retaliation by troopers during her 16-year career there.


Among other allegations, Nicole L. Oldham claimed she “was sexually harassed in a hostile work environment, physically assaulted, involuntarily transferred to the jurisdiction where her brother had been found dead on the side of the road less than two years earlier, forced out on medical leave and involuntarily separated from employment (by DSP) all because of her sex and in retaliation for her complaints of sex discrimination ...”


On June 1, Wilmington-based attorney John LaRosa filed the lawsuit on Ms. Oldham’s behalf in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. DSP and the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security were named as defendants. DSHS oversees DSP.


Ms. Oldham was employed as a DSP trooper from July 2002 until Dec. 31, 2018, according to the 21-page federal action.


On Tuesday, spokesman Master Cpl. Gary Fournier said “The Delaware State Police is unable to comment on any pending litigation.”



Additionally, Cpl. Fournier said “The Delaware State Police follows the scope of the Respectful Workplace and Anti-Discrimination Policy in which we strive to create and maintain a work environment where people are treated with dignity, decency and respect.”


On Tuesday, spokesman Arshon Howard said “The Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security is unable to comment on any pending litigation.”


Among other claims, the lawsuit alleged that conduct of then-trooper Steve Smyk, now a member of the Delaware House of Representatives, “constituted unlawful, sex-based harassment in the workplace ...”


House Republican spokesman Joseph Fulgham said the legislator would not comment publicly on ongoing litigation. At just before 2 p.m. Tuesday, the spokesman said it was his understanding that Rep. Smyk hadn’t yet seen the filing.


The lawsuit names multiple other troopers who allegedly engaged in improper workplace behavior involving Ms. Oldham.