Ex-Raiderette Cop Cries Foul

Nicole RosenstielThe Oakland Raiderettes are in the news once again. 

Nicole Rosenstiel is a former Oakland Raiderette, who is now a police officer in Vacaville, California. She's filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the police department for sexual harassment and claims she has been ostracized because of her past position as a Raiderette from 1997 to 2001

She joined the Vacaville PD in 2004 and has been on unpaid leave for the past two years.  

Included in the suit are charges that a sergeant, during a shift change, reportedly asked officers in a show of hands, how many would like to see her undressed. Another sergeant allegedly commented "nice rack" to her.

Rosenstiel also claims that a female officer deliberately injured her in a training exercise and frequently called her "Missy."

What most reports of these colorful allegations neglect to mention is that the suit's true catalyst is likely to be Rosenstiel's having been denied certain worker's compensation benefits, sought after she was injured on the job in 2006 and 2007. When she escalated the issue with a formal complaint, the department countered by charging her with 10 felony counts of fraud for filing false worker compensation claims, saying that she had deliberately failed to disclose pre-existing injuries, and as a result, had already been overpaid more than $10,000.00.  

Those charges were completely dismissed in March, clearing the way for Rosenstiel to seek restitution for what she claims were violations of her civil right to be treated equitably and fairly.

A spokesman for the city of Vacaville, Mark Mazzaferro said, "We feel that the complaint is without merit and we intend to litigate this vigorously." 

How much of a role the alleged sexual harassment and her ex-Raiderette stigma has contributed to her financial hardship will ultimately be for the courts to decide. But, clearly Rosenstiel and her attorney are hoping that publicly embarrassing the Vacaville PD will score them some early points.