5 city employees file tort against City of Lawton, city leaders over City Attorney misconduct
LAWTON, Okla. – Five female city employees have filed a tort claim after they say the City of Lawton and its leaders did nothing to prevent or punish the City Attorney for sexual and racial impropriety before his resignation.
According to the tort claims, Frank Jensen repeatedly made comments and gestures that were sexually and racially inappropriate while at work.
The claims say, “Jensen hired young, attractive females with no legal experience over older females with numerous years of legal experience. Jensen also frequently commented on the appearances of female legal assistants to include comments about weight and clothing choices.”
One employee says Jensen frequently commented on the attractiveness of his former legal assistant, even “stating in his emails how ‘beautiful’ she was, among other comments.”
That former assistant is also a part of the tort claim, saying she was subjected to subtle advances throughout her employment.
According to the claim, Jensen even followed that assistant to a store after an office Christmas party and questioned what she was doing.
Then, in 2010, the assistant says Jensen commented that the song on the radio reminded him of her. “The song, Cyclone, was sexual in nature, including lyrics such as, ‘she moves her body like a cyclone,’ ‘she makes me want to do it all night long.'”
The woman says Jensen often referred to her as his “dream girl”, his “best girl”, his “special one”, and his “number one girl”. He also commented on her “long legs,” talked about how her hips moved, and told her she walked like a model.
When the assistant mentioned she was Mexican, he told her “she should say ‘Spanish’ because ‘it sounds better.'”
During a mock cross-examination, Jensen asked a Hispanic female employee if she could speak English, “drawing the assistant to tears.”
Attorneys representing the women say “Jensen used the n-word in [a black female employee’s] presence… referred to [her] as ‘Ebony,’… ‘black a**,’… and referred to other black individuals as [her] ‘people’.”
While discussing Halloween costumes, Jensen told the black female employee “she should come dressed as a roach.”
According to the tort, Jensen often referred to women who worked for him, others who worked for the city and other women outside of work as ‘b*tch,’ ‘f***ing b*tch,’ and ‘little b*tch.’
“The City Council was made aware of the unlawful harassment and discrimination complaints against Jensen and the evidence supporting the same. Despite this remedial action was not taken.”
The attorneys claim Mayor Stanley Booker said Jensen and his family were his top priority.
“Thereafter, instead of imposing any discipline against Jensen, the City rewarded Jensen by entering into a ‘Resignation Agreement” with him…Jensen continues to receive full pay [until March 2020] as well as continued retirement allowance and other fringe benefits…”
All five women seek an excess of $10,000 in the claim.