Former LPD Officer Files Lawsuit Against the City of Lincoln

LINCOLN–(KFOR Mar. 8)–Former Lincoln Police Officer Laura Stokey is suing the city of Lincoln, alleging sexual harassment and discrimination for her termination two years ago.

A 21-page lawsuit claims the city violated the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act in Stokey’s termination and the actions leading up to it. According to the lawsuit, the allegations stem from a sexual encounter between Stokey and another officer in 2019. Stokey was later transferred to that officer’s team in northeast Lincoln and began a new relationship with a male officer in May of 2021. News of this relationship “enraged” the officer, according to the lawsuit.

According to the filing, the harassment continued as the officer would refuse to work with Stokey and her romantic partner on calls, possibly putting Stokey’s partner in danger on one call with an armed and dangerous person on July 10, 2021.  Before the officer resigned from the department, the lawsuit alleges she told her co-workers that Stokey had mishandled evidence and lied about it, leading to then-Chief Teresa Ewins to open an internal investigation.

The lawsuit says during an investigation, Stokey found a bullet and put it in her pocket and did not remove it and enter it into evidence. Stokey was written up for failing to remove the bullet. Later, the other officer accused Stokey of washing her pants with the bullet in the pocket and lying to cover it up. Stokey said the pants never left her LPD locker.

In December, Internal Affairs told Stokey she would have a suspension/termination hearing that month. She was then suspended for 10 days prior to her termination in January. LPD claimed she was fired for lying on a police report, according to Stokey’s attorney.

After she was fired, the lawsuit said Ewins sent a department-wide email claiming Stokey filed an untruthful report. The suit also alleges Ewins held a meeting with the northeast team accusing Stokey and former Sgt. Angela Sands of conspiring to cover up the mishandling of evidence.

Stokey, who was fired in January 2022, is seeking back pay, front pay, and a variety of other court relief.