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City Council to consider $500,000 settlement to two sheriff’s detectives in lawsuit against Reno Police Department

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A terse Reno City Council agenda item scheduled for the Wednesday, April 24, 2024, regular council meeting will settle the case of two Washoe County Sheriff’s Office detectives who sued the Reno Police Department. 

The plaintiffs, Jessica Troup and April McElroy, will get $200,000 and $300,000 respectively. They sued RPD and former police Chief Jason Soto last year alleging a retired RPD Sergeant, Paul Sifre, sexually harassed them. 

The news of the potential settlement offer took the plaintiffs’ attorney by surpise. Jack Campbell said the council agenda item was news to him.

“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” he said, noting that the case is in the discovery phase.

The plaintiffs alleged, in a case filed last year, Sifre made sexually explicit comments to them while at a conference in Las Vegas. Rather than addressing the issue—and what they called longstanding problematic behavior by Sifre—the plaintiffs allege he received a lucrative disability retirement instead.

McElroy and Troup were assigned to the regional narcotics unit—comprising local law enforcement officers—and, in 2021, went to a week-long law enforcement conference in Las Vegas. They shared a room.

“Sifre made a comment to McElroy that Troup likes to ‘eat out other women’ and that Troup told him she had done this with another woman,” the complaint alleges. 

The complaint claims that the comments continued at dinner and into the evening.

The city, through the City Attorney’s office, and Sifre, through his attorney Ronald Dreher, denied most allegations.

“Plaintiffs fail to sufficiently allege that Mr. Sifre’s alleged actions amounted to discriminatory changes in the terms and conditions of their employment,” he added. “Additionally, Plaintiff’s fail to make any allegations that are so severe or pervasive as to have altered their working conditions or created an abusive environment.”

McElroy and Troup alleged that Sifre was allowed to go on a disability retirement rather than face discipline.

“Both of these detectives are dyed-in-the-wool law-enforcement officers, and so the way Soto treated them—support by the City of Reno—really destroyed their ideas about what they called the law enforcement family,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, Campbell, told This Is Reno last year. “They’ve lost the trust in the system because what was clearly wrong was never punished. They never punished him. He never lost his salary. He was given a retirement that was better than he had earned with his performance and longevity at the City of Reno.”

Read their complaint

Read the complaint here: https://www.slideshare.net/ThisisReno/sheriffs-deputy-county-investigator-sue-reno-police-department-former-chief

Update: This article is updated to include comments by Campbell, which came in after initial publication.

Bob Conrad
Bob Conradhttp://thisisreno.com
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. He is also a part time instructor at UNR and sits on the boards of the Nevada Press Association and Nevada Open Government Coalition.

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