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Ironton police discrimination case scheduled

A female Ironton police who filed a million dollar lawsuit in federal court nearly a year ago claiming sexual harassment and gender discrimination will wait a little longer for her day in court.

Saturday, September 30, 2000

A female Ironton police who filed a million dollar lawsuit in federal court nearly a year ago claiming sexual harassment and gender discrimination will wait a little longer for her day in court.

Ironton police officer Beth Rist said the case is scheduled for federal court April 16, 2001, as a final attempt to "right the wrongs" against her.

"I’ve tried all along to go through the appropriate channels," Ms. Rist said. "Nothing worked. This suit was my last resort. I really didn’t want it to go this far, but the work environment for myself and future female officers deserves to be better than what it has been."

She said the necessary steps leading to the federal court appearance have been taken but were not successful in preventing the trial.

"We have had three depositions," she said. "Two officers named in the case have been through the process in August and my deposition was Sept. 21."

A settlement hearing has also taken place, she added.

"We did go through the procedures of a settlement hearing," Ms. Rist said. "We did not reach an agreement because one of their terms was that I resign from my position as a police officer. I don’t feel that I should have to quit because I haven’t done anything wrong. I’ve gone through the academy just like the guys involved have."

The opportunity to help citizens encourages her to stay with the police department, she said.

Most fellow officers have shown continual support since the case began, she added.

"I, by no means, am trying to imply that every man down there is against women being a police officer," Ms. Rist said. "I apologize if this situation has affected some of those who have stood up for me on this issue. There are thousands of women who are discriminated against daily, and I refuse to be the one who doesn’t stand up for what’s right."

Until the April 16 date, she said she’ll continue serving the public.

"This whole case is not about money," she said. "I had high hopes of this all being over during the settlement hearing until they said one of the stipulations was to resign. This is not about money, it’s about principle. I love what I do for the citizens of Ironton and I plan to keep serving the public."