WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A West Palm Beach police officer, once named in a sexual harassment investigation, is now suing the city for discrimination and claiming his innocence.
With his wife by his side, Lt. Gregory Rideau of the West Palm Beach Police Department spoke with Contact 5 about his decision to file a federal civil rights, discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the city, a former chief and a captain.
"I want to see the change in the agency to where everyone is treated equal, everyone is treated the same level, no one is treated differently, no matter if you're Black, white or whatever it is," said Rideau, a 25-year veteran of the department.
The seven-count complaint lays out a series of allegations including claims that the city actively prevented and delayed Rideau's promotion, unlawfully obtained his private health care information and retaliated against him after he filed a formal discrimination charge.
According to the lawsuit, Rideau claims that he was told by a captain that he would never become a K-9 officer because it was a "high-liability" position and Black officers did not get those positions.
The lawsuit also alleges that shortly after his marriage, a sergeant told Rideau's wife, who is also a West Palm Beach police officer that "Blacks and whites shouldn't marry" and allegedly called her "tainted."
A spokesperson told Contact 5 that the police department cannot comment on pending litigation.
"Those who have perpetrated these wrongs against Greg and Deanna must be held accountable," Rideau's attorney Guy Bennett Rubin said.
Rubin also claims Rideau has been targeted with false internal affairs investigations.
Contact 5 reported on Rideau in 2019 after he was suspended for two weeks without pay following a sexual harassment investigation.
A female officer claimed most of the harassment happened during undercover operations. Another female officer claimed she experienced similar, unwanted advances from Rideau.
He denied all the allegations made against him.
Investigators at the time determined that there was a "preponderance of evidence to conclude" that Rideau violated the Discrimination and Harassment policy and the Standard of Conduct policy.
Rideau's attorney says the disciplinary decision was reversed.
“That particular sexual harassment charge was never fully and fairly investigated," Rubin said.
"I want everything to come out so everyone can see what really took place, that I had done nothing wrong, and I claimed my innocence since day one," Rideau said.