LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Police Department has been slammed by yet another lawsuit. This time, a lieutenant claims she was sexually harassed and stalked by another ranking member of the police department.
The attorney representing the alleged victim believes there was an effort to cover up the allegation of sexual harassment.
Attorney Thomas Clay, who is representing the alleged victim, told WAVE 3 News Lt. Robert Shalde should have gotten in trouble for sexual harassment, not "conduct unbecoming."
The lawsuit also claims that one member of the department wanted to keep the allegations under wraps for fear the media would catch wind.
The woman in the lawsuit claims LMPD Lt. Robert Shadle sent her a text message on Feb. 10, 2016 saying "hey you."
She did not respond the lawsuit states.
She received another text message from Shadle the next night. Again, that message said, "hey you."
She did not respond.
Then, according to the documents, she received a third text message from Shadle on Feb. 14th which said, "Thinking about you." But, along with that text, she claims, Shadle also sent her a photograph "of a man holding his erect penis and testicles," the document states.
She responded "hey jackass you are texting the wrong f------ person stupid," the court documents state.
She also claims Shadle had previously been stalking her while on duty, circulating her vehicle while she was on patrol.
Shadle works in the First Division, according to LMPD's website. That includes the Butchertown, Downtown, Phoenix Hill, Portland and Russell neighborhoods.
The lawsuit is also filed against the department.
The officer making the claims said she reported the picture to Major Kelly Jones. She told him there was never any sort of relationship between the two other than professionally.
The lieutenant claims Jones told her that if a formal complaint was filed, then the media could potentially be involved.
She claims he told her, quote, "there are plenty of other fish out there and I just don't think this was meant for you."
Jones is said to have spoken with LMPD's legal adviser, Dennis Sims.
The document states that Chief Steve Conrad gave Major Jones a look of "Ok" and nodded his head when Major Jones told Conrad that he was going to "handle it" by having a firm discussion with Shadle.
Then, the alleged victim states Jones asked her to write a memo stating that she did not want to go forward with any actions. Jones later told her he did not want to include any names in that file.
The alleged victim then decided to go to straight to the department's Professional Standards Unit (PSU) to file a formal complaint.
The lawsuit states during the investigation, she met with LMPD Chief Steve Conrad, who placed Shadle on a 20 day suspension without pay for "conduct unbecoming," not for sexual harassment.
"That finding is pretty troubling," Clay said. "That definition, what happened here is sexual harassment under both LMPD SOP (standard operating procedure) and the training that was just ordered by the command at LMPD."
During that meeting with Chief Conrad, the lawsuit states Conrad apologized because he should have initiated a complaint, but he thought she wanted the matter handled informally. Conrad assured her the PSU investigation was being expedited, that it was being taken seriously and that "no one was trying to cover anything up or sweep it under the rug," the document states.
The department issued two separate orders of no contact, ordering Shadle to stay away from the victim, the lawsuit states. However, she states Shadle violated those terms and the stalking continued.
She claims the department did not take any further action against Shadle, despite a letter from Chief Conrad warning he'd be fired if the behavior continued.