Press Release: The Fight Against Discrimination and Retaliation in Burton’s Police Department

PRESS RELEASE:
A LAWSUIT HAS BEEN FILED OCTOBER 30, 2023, AGAINST THE CITY OF BURTON,
THE POLICE OFFICER LABOR COUNCIL – BURTON CITY COMMAND OFFICERS,
POLICE OFFICERS LABOR COUNCIL – BURTON PATROL OFFICERS, OFFICERS
KEVIN JONES, KEVIN KISSEL, AND DANA PIAZZA, COUNCILWOMAN TINA
CONELY, AND MAYOR DUANE HASKINS (IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY ONLY) TO
HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR DISCRIMINATION AND RETALIATION-RELATED
TO SEX, RACE, AND NATIONAL ORIGIN DIRECTED AT TWO FEMALE OFFICERS
AND THE CHIEF OF POLICE

After an investigation by attorneys Muneeb M. Ahmad and Syed Hussain Akbar of Just Right
Law, it was determined that the lawsuit is justified and supported by the evidence. This lawsuit
aims to hold, Officers Kevin Jones, Kevin Kissel, and Dana Piazza, as well as Councilwoman
Tina Conley (hereinafter the “Individual Defendants”), liable in their individual and official
capacities, for pervasive and ongoing discrimination, hostile environment, and retaliation-based
on National Origin, Sex, and Sexual Orientation.


Further, this lawsuit, naming Defendant Mayor Duane Haskins, in his Official Capacity only,
seeks to hold the City of Burton and the Police Officers Labor Council for Command Officers
and Patrol Officers liable for their discriminatory and retaliatory toxic police culture, customs,
policies, and practices that target racial and ethnic minorities, females, and/or LGBTQ police
officers and employees within the City’s Police Department.


As further outlined in the lawsuit, the evidence determined that the City of Burton’s acquiescence
to a pervasive and toxic police culture within the Department, subjected Plaintiffs to a hostile
work environment which encompassed discrimination based on race, ethnicity, pregnancy status,
sexual orientation, and associational discrimination at the hands of the Individual Defendants.


This hostile work environment and retaliation included but was not limited to, Individual
Defendants subjecting Chief Ross, Sergeant Glasstetter, and Officer Conquest to a knowingly
false and defamatory narrative of a workplace affair, sexual misconduct, and blackmail
aimed at undermining their authority and tarnishing and damaging their credibility and reputation
within the community.


Further, the evidence also confirmed that after reporting this discriminatory and retaliatory
hostile environment to the EEOC, Defendant Councilwoman further retaliated against Plaintiffs by targeting Sergeant Glasstetter and making a false accusation of misconduct against her for which there was an investigation that rendered a finding of no cause.


Evidence in the lawsuit further suggests a pervasive, toxic culture within the police department.
This culture, based on discrimination against women, racial minorities, the LGBTQ community,
and those who support these protected classes is prevalent among both patrol officers and
command staff and supported by the City’s inaction, despite numerous internal and external
complaints.


This lawsuit is in direct response to a concerted effort to retaliate against individuals intentionally
who were willing to stand up to Individual Defendants in the face of outrageous discriminatory
and hostile conduct that no one in this day and age should be forced to bear.


The City of Burton and the Police Unions through their inaction, have wounded three upstanding
law enforcement officials and the protected classes they represent. Further, retaliation against
those three individuals has caused wounds to fester.


This lawsuit represents an opportunity to excise that wound and effectuate much-needed change
in both how the City addresses claims of discrimination and the pervasive, toxic, discriminatory
culture rampant in the City’s Police Department.


We respectfully request the press to share this information with the public. Should you have any
question, please feel free to contact our office