by: David Ham Updated:BLACK DIAMOND, Wash. —
Two former Black Diamond police officers have filed tort claims with the city of Black Diamond for allegations of sexual harassment, harassment, retaliation and hostile work environment.
Eric Weinreich was a police officer for the force for five years. He was terminated by the city in March for allegations of dishonesty for criticizing Police Chief Jamey Kiblinger. "I was never untruthful or dishonest during my investigation. The bottom line is there were no grounds for my termination," said Weinreich. He believes he was fired in retaliation for filing complaints that he was sexually harassed by Kiblinger. "Basically there was a situation where i I was teased and harassed about my penis size. This actually continued after a period of time after the Christmas party," Weinreich said. "She actually told me in front of other people there to go into another room and take a picture of it to prove size."
Weinreich is one of two former Black Diamond police officers filing claims with the city. He is asking for $2 million in damages. Scott Oak is another former police officer who was laid off is asking for $1 million in damages. He is a gay man who said Kiblinger made racial and anti-gay slurs. "More often than not she would say to me, 'Quit acting like a fag; you look like a fag,' all things that would associate me with a fag and something she didn't like," said Oak. "At one point she told me all's I had to do was to sleep with a good-looking woman and I wouldn't have to be gay anymore. I didn't have a response."
When KIRO 7 asked Kiblinger about the allegations at her house, she said, "No, no thank you," and shut her door.
Mayor Rebecca Olness authorized Weinreich's termination. KIRO 7 contacted her about the allegations and why she authorized the termination and she said she could not comment because this was still an open claim.
In May, Kiblinger was given a written reprimand for unprofessional language by Olness. However the notice isn't enough to demote or terminate Kiblinger. It will stay on her record for 18 months. According to city clerk records, Kiblinger is the highest paid salaried employee on city staff. She makes $138,391 annually.
Attorney Robert Kim, who represents both former officers, said that if the city does not respond to the claims, the former officers will consider filing a lawsuit against the city and the chief. Attorneys for the city of Black Diamond on this case say they are reviewing the claims and will respond.