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Police officer's suit against chief denied

By Times staff writers

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 3, 2000

ST. PETERSBURG -- A judge has ruled that a female former St. Petersburg police officer has no grounds to sue the police chief. But the woman will continue her suit against the city. The suit claims police department discriminated against her.

Karen Lea, who once supervised the city's sex crimes squad, filed a federal lawsuit last year against police Chief Goliath Davis III and the city of St. Petersburg.

Lea said that after Davis became chief in 1997, she was subjected to a hostile work environment because she had complained of sexual harassment by Davis in the early 1980s.

U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams Jr. has dismissed Davis from the lawsuit, so Lea is suing the city.

The city has asked the judge to dismiss Lea's lawsuit altogether.

Tampa police spokesman gets federal position

TAMPA -- After nearly 13 years as the public information officer for the Tampa Police Department, Steve Cole is moving on.

Starting May 15, Cole will take over as public information officer for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida. Cole's job at police headquarters will be filled by Capt. Sam Jones until a permanent replacement is chosen.

Cole, a former television reporter, was paid about $69,000 last year and said he will make the same amount at his new job.

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