Southampton Town Police Detective Sergeant Lisa Costa Settles Discrimination Lawsuit

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Southampton Town and one of its a police sergeants have settled a gender discrimination lawsuit, in which Detective Sergeant Lisa Costa alleged that she was unfairly passed over for promotions and sexually harassed as a female cop.

Kelly Magnuson, an attorney with Burke, Scolamiero & Hurd, LLP in Albany, who is representing Det. Sgt. Costa came to the settlement with town officials, according to court documents. Ms. Magnuson would not disclose the amount of the agreement, noting that it was a “confidential settlement.”

The case was dismissed with prejudice on September 14, meaning that it is permanently closed.

Town Attorney James Burke could not be immediately reached on Tuesday for comment.

Det. Sgt. Costa filed the lawsuit in 2014 against the town, claiming that she was denied promotions and special assignments in favor of male officers. The complaint detailed several instances of sexual harassment by other department officers and how she was passed over for promotions by male officers on several occasions, even though she was qualified for the job.

Det. Sgt. Costa was hired as a seasonal officer in 1999 and quickly began climbing the ranks: she was promoted to a full-time police officer in 2000, a detective in 2005, and a sergeant in 2006—but it was at this point that she hit the “glass ceiling” at the department, according to the complaint.

“She is still employed there,” Ms. Magnuson said of her client on Tuesday. “She hopes to continue, and she hopes she will be promoted to lieutenant—like she should be.”

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