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SDPD Sex Crimes Detective Charges Sexual Harassment

According to a complaint filed in San Diego Superior Court on September 8 posted on the website of Courthouse News Service, veteran San Diego Police sex crimes unit detective Deborah W. Burger is suing the department for "numerous egregious instances of unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation, beginning in 2009 and continuing to the present, within the SDPD's Sex Crimes Unit, involving Defendant male detectives and supervisors who created an intimidating and hostile work environment charged with offensive sexual comments, slurs, innuendos, emails, photos, and other disparate treatment based on Plaintiff's gender and age (59)."

The complaint goes on to allege that Burger, who has had an "exemplary" 22-year career with SDPD, began to notice a change in the sex crimes unit in early 2009 under Lt. Rick O'Hanlon, who had replaced Lt. Carolyn Kendrick, and Sgt. Dan Cerar.

There was "an increase in lewd comments, jokes, emails, and photos of a sexual nature in the Unit," according to the complaint. "Additionally, inappropriate photos began to appear in Det [Edward] Fletes' and Det. [Carl] Hershman's cubicles…depicting photos of women and men in suggestive and sexual poses and/or performing mock sexual acts."

In addition,"…Sgt. Cerar also took the male detectives out of the Unit for shooting practice and allowed them to dress down, while not allowing the female detectives to do the same."

According to the complaint, an email was circulated through the unit entitled "the Man Test," which "specifically targeted gays and used epithets such as 'fag,' 'FLAMING homo,' 'queer,' 'Gaylord,' 'ass-pirate,' 'dying to tune a meat whistle,' 'pole smoker,' and 'keep that gay shit to yourself!'"

Another photo, alleges the complaint, was of "young girls who appear to be 14 or 15 years old," one of whom is "depicted with her legs spread open and pointing to her genital area with a caption that reads: ''EXHIBIT A' - 'The proof that she was asking for it your Honour.'"

We've left messages with Burger's attorney and the City Attorney's office requesting comment and hope to update shortly.

UPDATE: Gina Coburn, Communications Director for City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, has emailed us the following:

"In regards to your inquiry on the complaint filed by D. Berger, there’s nothing to say at this point other than the fact that our office will be providing a defense and that we will advise the City Council."

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According to a complaint filed in San Diego Superior Court on September 8 posted on the website of Courthouse News Service, veteran San Diego Police sex crimes unit detective Deborah W. Burger is suing the department for "numerous egregious instances of unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation, beginning in 2009 and continuing to the present, within the SDPD's Sex Crimes Unit, involving Defendant male detectives and supervisors who created an intimidating and hostile work environment charged with offensive sexual comments, slurs, innuendos, emails, photos, and other disparate treatment based on Plaintiff's gender and age (59)."

The complaint goes on to allege that Burger, who has had an "exemplary" 22-year career with SDPD, began to notice a change in the sex crimes unit in early 2009 under Lt. Rick O'Hanlon, who had replaced Lt. Carolyn Kendrick, and Sgt. Dan Cerar.

There was "an increase in lewd comments, jokes, emails, and photos of a sexual nature in the Unit," according to the complaint. "Additionally, inappropriate photos began to appear in Det [Edward] Fletes' and Det. [Carl] Hershman's cubicles…depicting photos of women and men in suggestive and sexual poses and/or performing mock sexual acts."

In addition,"…Sgt. Cerar also took the male detectives out of the Unit for shooting practice and allowed them to dress down, while not allowing the female detectives to do the same."

According to the complaint, an email was circulated through the unit entitled "the Man Test," which "specifically targeted gays and used epithets such as 'fag,' 'FLAMING homo,' 'queer,' 'Gaylord,' 'ass-pirate,' 'dying to tune a meat whistle,' 'pole smoker,' and 'keep that gay shit to yourself!'"

Another photo, alleges the complaint, was of "young girls who appear to be 14 or 15 years old," one of whom is "depicted with her legs spread open and pointing to her genital area with a caption that reads: ''EXHIBIT A' - 'The proof that she was asking for it your Honour.'"

We've left messages with Burger's attorney and the City Attorney's office requesting comment and hope to update shortly.

UPDATE: Gina Coburn, Communications Director for City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, has emailed us the following:

"In regards to your inquiry on the complaint filed by D. Berger, there’s nothing to say at this point other than the fact that our office will be providing a defense and that we will advise the City Council."

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According to the complaint, an email was circulated through the unit entitled "the Man Test," which "specifically targeted gays and used epithets such as 'fag,' 'FLAMING homo,' 'queer,' 'Gaylord,' 'ass-pirate,' 'dying to tune a meat whistle,' 'pole smoker,' and 'keep that gay shit to yourself!'"

Another photo, alleges the complaint, was of "young girls who appear to be 14 or 15 years old," one of whom is "depicted with her legs spread open and pointing to her genital area with a caption that reads: ''EXHIBIT A' - 'The proof that she was asking for it your Honour.'"

If this happened in the private sector these employees who were responsible for these acts would be fired, and the company would settle for millions, or go to trial and lose tens of millions.

I predict the City will not settle and lose a multi-million dollar judgment at trial, and taxpayers will pay for all of it, and NO ONE will be disciplined at all.

Sept. 13, 2011

You would be wrong...the case was thrown out for "No legal merit." I sued the city and they settled with me this past April (2017). Both females in the case lied and the city attorney was forced to retire in lieu of getting fired. The above story is not true!

July 19, 2017

------8<------8<------8<------8<------8<------ I predict the City will not settle and lose a multi-million dollar judgment at trial, and taxpayers will pay for all of it, and NO ONE will be disciplined at all. ------8<------8<------8<------8<------8<------

Yep.

They will start the non-discipline at the top, of course. Lansdowne is the Teflon Cop.

Sept. 14, 2011

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