WEST UNION, Iowa (KWWL) –Tonight, tensions were high in West Union after an officer resigned. Officer Sierra Fox’s attorney says she was forced to quit, after she complained about gender discrimination and sexual harassment from the police chief.
Fox’s attorney sent KWWL documents, and in them Fox says Police Chief Paul Bechtold, “Treated me, the only female officer, like I was lesser than my fellow officers. He has made derogatory comments about women, including me.”
Fox turned in her resignation last week, after getting several departmental write-ups. At tonight’s city council meeting, the council voted to accept Fox’s resignation, effective as of April 16th.They said Fox would have to turn in all city property by this Friday.
Many people came out to the city council meeting to voice their disappointment. They said they were concerned about what would happen to K9 Officer Xena.
The city says there will be a police committee meeting to discuss the K9 program and Xena’s future. The public can attend this meeting. The date has not yet been set-up.
The audience was still concerned because there are only four days before Officer Fox is supposed to turn in city property, including her K9.
Officer Fox has filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. In tonight’s city council meeting, on the agenda was motion to approve a post to hire a new full-time officer. That motion was tabled.
An attorney for West Union Police Officer Sierra Fox says she is being forced to resign from the West Union Police Department.
According to documents sent to KWWL, Fox claims Chief Paul Bechtold treated her with less respect than her fellow officers. She also claims Bechtold made derogatory comments about women, witnessed and ignored sexual harassment, and retaliated against her.
Fox alleges she was given the option to either resign or be fired, after being given six write-ups.
There is a city council meeting tonight at 6 p.m. where they will discuss the situation. KWWL will be in attendance.
This is a developing story. Stay with KWWL as more information becomes available.