Local News

Former N.C. State Campus Police Officer Sues For Sexual Discrimination

Posted July 29, 2005

— A recent survey of university students and staff gave the campus police department at North Carolina State University a 90 percent approval rating when it comes to treating people fairly, but one officer claims just the opposite. And she is not the first one to question how the department does business.

After three years as an officer with N.C. State's campus police, Ann Trochum said she realized something was wrong.

"They paid me 10 percent less than the other sergeants -- all eight males," Trochum said.

When she complained about it, Trochum claims Chief Tom Younce and other department brass paid her back by assigning her to the night shift.

Now, she is suing the university for sexual discrimination.

"I don't know how well the checks and balance are there for the head people to know what's going on in the police department," Trochum said.

"Sexual discrimination is not tolerated," Younce said. "I've been in the business 20 years and I will not tolerate it."

Younce said he cannot talk about the lawsuit, but insisted that he runs a clean department, despite past problems.

"We were very concerned about our public image," he said.

In 2000, a state audit found that a former campus police chief, Ralph Harper, made questionable purchases in the amount of almost $1 million. It found Harper, who was forced to resign, bought unnecessary laptop computers, CD players, TVs and more.

Younce said that the department is now putting all of that equipment to good use.

"We've got plenty of checks and balances in places to make sure taxpayers are getting their money's worth at our university," he said.

Younce also said he has hired an internal affairs officer.

"We do our best to address problems and do the right thing," he said.

Trochum, however, does not believe Younce and says she does not believe that a jury will either.

"But I do know something needs to change," she said.

An administrative law judge recently ruled in Trochum's favor. N.C. State appealed the case. Because it involves state workers, the state's personnel commission will rule on the appeal, which is expected in a few weeks.

The case, filed Thursday in Wake County Superior Court, could take a year or more to go to trial.

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