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Former Omaha precinct captain was awarded $700,000 in lost wages by the jury, now the city of Omaha and the Police Chief seek new trial

OMAHA, Nebraska – The City of Omaha and its police chief are requesting a new trial after a jury awarded a former precinct captain $700,000 in lost earnings.

Captain of the Omaha Police Department Kathy Belcastro-Gonzalez filed suit after being passed over twice for a promotion. Last month, a jury found in her favor.

While OPD Chief Todd Schmaderer stated that she was overlooked because to her poor attitude and work performance, the attorney representing former officer Belcastro-Gonzalez stated that she was simply advocating for women in the workplace.

This week, however, the city filed a motion for a new trial, alleging, among other things, that at least one juror had inappropriate contact with a former OPD officer during the trial and that the jury disregarded the law as instructed and relied on “extraneous evidence” to send a message to the city.

When the motion will be considered is still unknown.

Belcastro-Gonzalez was terminated after 27 years as a police officer while in charge of the southeast precinct and the subject of an internal investigation.

In 2017, she filed a complaint with the mayor’s office alleging the police department’s unconstitutional discriminatory tactics toward women. In 2019, she filed a complaint with the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission and launched a lawsuit against the city and the police chief, stating she was passed over for the position of deputy chief despite achieving the highest exam scores.

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