The Wyoming Highway Patrol has denied allegations that officials retaliated against the agency’s first female K-9 handler because she was a woman.
In federal court filings, highway patrol lawyers wrote that agency officials acted legitimately in reassigning Delsa B. Sanderson from her former position as a dog handler in a division tasked with protecting the governor and other state officials.
The agency’s lawyers also claimed that Sanderson did not file her suit in a timely manner. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires that suits alleging gender discrimination be filed within 90 days of its approval, which the highway patrol states she did not do.
The highway patrol also wrote that Sanderson did not file the suit within 300 days of the alleged discrimination, which is also required by the commission.
The filings ask Judge Scott Skavdahl to dismiss the case and order Sanderson pay the highway patrol’s attorney fees.
Sanderson alleged she was reassigned because she complained about poor treatment by her colleagues, rather than for misconduct alleged by her supervisors. The suit also alleges she was subject to a hostile work environment and discriminated against because of her gender.
A pretrial conference in the case is scheduled for April 11.
Cheyenne attorney Bruce Moats is representing Sanderson in the case. He has previously requested access to court hearings and government documents on behalf of the Star-Tribune.
Neither Moats nor highway patrol attorney Jesse Naiman was immediately available Monday afternoon for comment.