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Valpo PD clerk sues city for age discrimination

Updated: December 29, 2012 6:23AM



A former Valparaiso Police Department employee says in a federal lawsuit that she was told to retire or face losing her job.

Sonja Stansberry, born in 1939, said in her lawsuit, filed Nov. 21 in the U.S. District Court in Hammond, that the department discriminated against her by forcing the ultimatum on her.

Stansberry had worked for the department since 1977 as a records clerk and claims she was told several times this year by various employees she needed to retire.

Finally, Assistant Chief Richard Spicer gave her the ultimatum — retire in a month or lose her job — in June, although she asked him to reconsider.

She filed a discrimination charge shortly after, but she was then placed on suspension on July 5. Chief Michael Brickner then fired her 10 days later.

Dave Hollenbeck, attorney for the city, said he had not received a copy of the lawsuit yet and therefore couldn’t comment.

Stansberry is asking for compensatory and punitive damages, along with legal fees.



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