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Former, current Wichita deputy police chiefs file lawsuit against city

Ark Valley Fire Buff
flickr Creative Commons

The deputy chiefs issued a notice of intent to file a lawsuit late last year.

Several former and current deputy chiefs for the Wichita Police Department have filed a lawsuit against the city.

It alleges the city manager and human resources director interfered in officer discipline and then later blamed the department’s executive team and former chief Gordon Ramsay for a lack of discipline in the department.

The former deputy chiefs said that in turn created a hostile work environment.

The lawsuit also alleges an inappropriate relationship between former Human Resources Director Chris Bezruki, who retired last year, and the city’s police union.

In response to the lawsuit, the city issued the following statement:

“The City looks forward to vigorously defending its reputation in a court of law and providing evidence and witnesses that will counter the narrative that has been publicly shared to date.”

The filing by the deputy chiefs comes as a consulting firm, Jensen Hughes, prepares to release findings from its investigation into the city’s police department.

That investigation was requested by the city after it found that several officerssent racist and violent text messages. Those messages and memes were included in the filing.

The deputy chiefs issued a notice of intentto file a lawsuit late last year.

The notice previously included Ramsay, but he was not listed as a plaintiff in the filing.

The notice claimed that Ramsay “suffered a loss of reputation and job opportunities” because of comments and publicity from the city.

Ramsay left the department earlier last year and was later elected sheriff in St. Louis County in his home state of Minnesota.

The lawsuit is seeking a jury trial and more than $75,0000 in damages.

Kylie Cameron (she/her) is a general assignment reporter for KMUW. Before KMUW, Kylie was a digital producer at KWCH, and served as editor in chief of The Sunflower at Wichita State. You can follow her on Twitter @bykyliecameron.