Local News

The City of Omaha lost the case against the former Omaha PD Capt. Katherine Belcastro-Gonzalez, to pay nearly $1 million

OMAHA, Nebraska – A precinct captain who claimed that she had been the subject of retaliation from the City of Omaha won her case in front of a federal jury, which found in her favor.

On Monday, the jury decided to award lost earnings and benefits to former Omaha Police Captain Katherine Belcastro-Gonzalez in the amount of $680,000, in addition to additional damages in the amount of $20,000.

According to a statement released by Matt Kuhse, Omaha’s city attorney, the city’s intention is to file an appeal against the ruling.

“The jurors in the lawsuit filed by Kathy Belcastro-Gonzalez have returned a verdict against the City. While this decision is unfortunate, the City thanks the jurors for their service. Despite this verdict, the City maintains its position that Ms. Belcastro-Gonzalez was not promoted as a result of poor performance as a command officer. There was no retaliation by Chief Schmaderer. The City will appeal the verdict.”

She had served as a police officer for 27 years and was in command of the southeast precinct at the time she was fired by OPD Chief Todd Schmaderer. At the time, she was also the target of an internal inquiry.

In 2017, she lodged a complaint with the mayor’s office citing unlawful discrimination practices involving the treatment of women by the police department. Her complaint focused on how the department treats female officers. In 2019, she lodged a complaint with the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission. She also launched a lawsuit against the city and the police chief, claiming that she was unjustly overlooked for the position of deputy chief despite having finished first in the testing.

Schmaderer has stated in the past that it was an issue involving personnel. According to the city, the department followed the procedures for the promotions to the letter and interviewed four individuals for each available position.

Greg Gonzalez, a retired Omaha police deputy chief and the Democratic candidacy for sheriff of Douglas County, is married to Belcastro-Gonzalez. Belcastro-Gonzalez is his wife.

Related Articles

Back to top button