Mar 7, 2023 - News

Fired Des Moines police officer gets $25K settlement

Lourdes Hadenfeldt. Photo courtesy of the DSM Police Department

Des Moines is paying $25,000 to settle an employment discrimination lawsuit filed by a police officer fired after an investigation determined she made false claims.

Catch up fast: Officer Lourdes Hadenfeldt alleged that a driver swerved at her and hit her with the vehicle's mirror in 2019.

  • But charges against the driver were dropped and Hadenfeldt was fired after an internal investigation determined Hadenfeldt had not been struck.

State of play: She was later denied unemployment and her termination was upheld by the Civil Service Commission.

  • A Polk County district court in 2021 upheld and affirmed her termination.

Yes, but: Hadenfeldt alleged that other DMPD employees in similar circumstances had previously received lesser or no discipline.

  • The only difference, she alleged, was that they were white males while she is Hispanic, according to the lawsuit.

The latest: The city agreed to the settlement shortly before a Feb. 27 trial, court records show.

What they're saying: Charles Gribble, an attorney for Hadenfeldt, declined to comment.

  • DSM city manager Scott Sanders tells Axios the settlement was to "fully and finally resolve" litigation linked with Hadenfeldt's termination.
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