A lawsuit accuses New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas of “blatant, ongoing and systematic discrimination” against officers based on gender and sexual orientation, reports the Albuquerque Journal. He is accused of “mooning” employees, describing two staff members as “dumb (expletive) bitches” and sending an image of a man’s testicles blocking out the sun to a female executive in the state Department of Public Safety. The suit was filed late Tuesday in 1st Judicial District Court in Santa Fe by Sgt. Monica Martinez-Jones, retired Lt. Julia Armendariz and retired Deputy Chief Michael Ryan Suggs. It seeks damages based on gender and sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation.
The plaintiffs allege that “Kassetas’s behavior has gone unchecked” because he is being protected by Gov. Susana Martinez. A spokesman for the governor said the lawsuit contains “many ridiculous allegations that are completely removed from the truth.” The 36-page suit accuses Kassetas of tolerating homophobic treatment of gay officers and promoting a male officer who had slept with female recruits and once chained an African-American officer to a telephone pole. Kassetas said Thursday that he couldn’t comment on pending litigation “no matter how much I’d like to.”