Longtime detective leaves Fairbanks Police Department, citing toxic workplace
Abrupt resignation comes amid claims of sexual harassment and retaliation
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A longtime detective with the Fairbanks Police Department turned in her gun and badge Monday morning and walked off the job, citing a toxic work environment.
The resignation of 16-year police veteran Alana Malloy comes after what she calls relentless sexual harassment followed by retaliation after she spoke up. She was the department’s only female detective.
“It’s unfortunate that any female officer should feel like they have to put up with a certain amount of this just to participate in this field,” Malloy said about her resignation in a Monday interview.
In addition to resigning, Malloy has also filed a lawsuit against the department.
“While I acknowledge former Detective Malloy’s contributions to the department and the community, I’m quite disturbed by the many gross misrepresentations, and outright falsehoods, stated in her resignation letter,” Fairbanks Police Chief Ron Dupee said in a written comment via email. “Given that Ms. Malloy is expecting to file a lawsuit, we aren’t going to publicly address all of these allegations made against former and current officers in good standing with the department, but rather, we look forward to bringing forward all of the facts, circumstances, and truths in court.”
In her resignation letter, Malloy referenced her long history with the department, and her status as a major crimes detective investigating “homicides, missing persons, robberies, sexual assaults, child sexual abuse and neglect, felony violence, and much more.”
In the letter, Malloy goes on to say she suffered “toxic sexism and retaliation,” including her supervisor asking about her sex life.
“No woman or public servant should ever have to endure this mistreatment, and these problems have made it impossible for me to continue my employment with the City of Fairbanks and the Fairbanks Police Department,” she said in her letter.
Malloy’s attorney, James Davis, also spoke with Alaska’s News Source on Monday.
“When she brought some complaint to the department about sexual harassment a year or so ago, the department ended up retaliating against her, in effect for her complaints, and has since that time taken steps to sideline her and cut her out of all meaningful police work,” Davis said.
“It’s (an) unfortunate, repeat example of, whether it’s a person of color or a woman complaining about harassment, and instead of the powers that be doing anything to address those issues, they punish the complainant for complaining,” Davis continued.
Malloy and another detective, Avery Thompson, are involved in a personal dating relationship.
After a supervisor asked Thompson whether he had been having sex with Malloy, the complaint states Thompson was advised by the human resources department “that there were no policy violations or conflicts or concerns for equally ranking coworkers to date one another.”
In her lawsuit, Malloy says she and Thompson checked with the city’s human resources department before beginning their relationship. The complaint states that it was “after consulting with the Director of Human Resources” that she and Thompson “began a private dating relationship completely outside of work.”
Earlier this year, Thompson was placed on paid leave pending an investigation. Thompson told Alaska’s News Source at the time he believed the personnel action stemmed from ongoing retaliation he’d experienced for taking a stand against the treatment Malloy had received.
“The City absolutely takes any allegations of discrimination and harassment seriously and the administration consistently works with the leadership of various employee unions to educate city employees and hold them accountable,” Teal Soden, communications director for the Fairbanks mayor’s office, said at the time.
Davis represents both Thompson and Malloy. To date, only Malloy has filed a lawsuit.
“Much of the allegations stem from Ms. Malloy taking issue with the department and the City’s attempt to follow the contract, as well as policies and procedures,” Dupee said in his written statement. “There are several misrepresentations that will be very obvious to the public if they have any knowledge of our police department, policies, and union contract, but much more will be cleared up in court.”
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