Teresa Williams sues Iron Mountain police for sex harassment

Teresa Williams (courtesy Jack Schulz).

The first woman to ever serve in a Michigan city’s police force says that she faced a near-constant deluge of sexual harassment from soon after she started until she was forced to resign.

Teresa Williams joined the Iron City Police Department (IMPD) in October 2017 — the only female officer in the department, according to a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit filed in February. She was the only female officer in the department, and according to the complaint, her supervisor treated her as a liability from the start.

IMPD Deputy Director Joseph Dumais allegedly “referred to Plaintiff’s hire as the first female officer as a ‘lawsuit waiting to happen,”” the complaint alleges. “Nonetheless, Dumais would grope and force Plaintiff to kiss him within weeks of her employment.”

Dumais and Officer Garth Budek — both named as defendants in the case — also had allegedly “made a bet as to which officer would have sex with Plaintiff first after she was hired.”

Shortly after starting at the IMPD, Williams, having been invited to a local bar with Budek and Dumais, was allegedly told that she had to take an “IMPD shot” with Dumais as part of her “initiation” to the police department.

“Dumais explained that the IMPD shot involved taking a shot of fireball liquor then making out with each other,” the complaint explains. Williams refused, and told her colleagues that it sounded like something they made up.

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