Ex-WyCo Sheriff's Deputy suing department for discrimination

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A former Wyandotte County Sheriff's Deputy is suing the department for discrimination after she was fired for violating department policy.

Celisha Towers filed the lawsuit last Monday in federal court.

Towers is also currently running for Sheriff of Wyandotte County.

Towers states in the lawsuit that on or about July 17, 2016, she was discharged without show of cause because she lived outside of the county and that she was discriminated against because she is an African American.

According to the Unified Government’s Human Resources Guide pertaining to residency requirements, “All employees of the Unified Government shall establish and maintain their permanent residence within the geographical limits of the county throughout their period of employment.”

The Sheriff’s Department does not have its own policy pertaining to residence requirements but they are an entity of the Unified Government and therefore follow their policies.

According to the lawsuit, in which Towers is representing herself, she admits that she was employed as a Deputy Sheriff with Wyandotte County, KS in January 2013. Upon returning from an approved leave of absence in May of 2016 she was discharged in July of that same year. She goes on to state that she knows of other deputies “who reside outside Wyandotte County” and “All three are currently employed by WyCo Sheriff.” She also states that the Fraternal Order of Police, the FOP, refused to represent her.

41 Action News reached out the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #40 for comment;

“Ms. Celisha Towers was terminated by the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office for violating the residency ordinance. The Lodge filed a grievance on Ms. Towers’ behalf and devoted substantial resources in its efforts to represent her. Ms. Towers refused to cooperate with the Lodge’s investigation. After completing a thorough investigation, the Lodge determined that the evidence demonstrated that Ms. Towers was in violation of the residency ordinance and that there was just cause for Ms. Towers’ termination.

The Lodge has always, and will continue to, represent all members that hold the rank of Sergeant, Detective and Deputy regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, citizenship, familial status, disability, veteran status or genetic information. The statements she has made through her lawsuit are inaccurate and do not properly illustrate the actions the Lodge has taken on her behalf.  The Lodge has successfully represented numerous members over the years in disciplinary grievances.

The Lodge is confident that the Court’s decision in this matter will demonstrate the Lodge fairly represents its members.”

The Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department declined to comment at this time.

41 Action News was not able to reach Towers for comment.

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