Cañon Citys first female interim police chief files gender discrimination lawsuit over pay

Cañon City’s first female interim police chief claims she was paid less than her male predecessors in a federal equal pay lawsuit filed last week.

Tammy Wagner, who served as interim chief from July to November 2020, says in the lawsuit that she was paid between $8,200 and $19,000 less on an annual basis than two former interim chiefs at the police department, who were both male.

The lawsuit names Cañon City as the sole defendant and seeks damages for both economic losses and emotional distress. Kristy Gotham, a city spokeswoman, declined to comment on the lawsuit Monday, saying she could not discuss personnel matters.

Wagner joined the city as a police commander in 2018 following a 25-year career in law enforcement in Florida, according to the complaint. She earned about $78,000 annually in that role, which increased to about $86,000 when she was promoted to interim chief.

However, past interim chiefs at the police department earned at least $90,000 annually, the complaint claims. Interim Chief Paul Schultz, who served from 2012 to 2014, earned a base salary of $91,000, plus extra benefits like a housing allowance that raised his compensation to $105,000, according to the complaint.

And Francis Cooper, who worked as interim chief from January through June 2017, earned about $94,000 in the job, the lawsuit claims.

Wagner alleges she performed the same duties as the two men but was paid less because she is a woman.

“Mrs. Wagner, a female, who held the same position and was required to perform the same duties and responsibilities as the previous male Chiefs of Police, had a starting salary that was deficiently lower than her male counterparts,” reads the complaint, which was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

Wagner’s attorneys did not immediately return a request for comment Monday and Wagner could not be reached.

She was among four finalists for the permanent police chief job in 2020, according to the Cañon City Daily Record, but was passed over in favor of Chief John Schick. He did not return a request for comment Monday.

Source: Read Full Article