FARMINGTON — The only claim that remains in a nearly two-year-old sex-based discrimination lawsuit against Bloomfield is that the city and others retaliated against Tina Robinson-Adair by removing her as a school resource officer from its school district after she filed the complaint and because she testified against the city in a separate discrimination lawsuit.
"Tina's problem is that she's trying to do what's right," said her Albuquerque-based attorney, Justin Pennington. "She always tries to do what's right."
The lawsuit was filed in September 2012, and in the initial complaint Robinson-Adair charged Bloomfield, the Farmington Police Department and San Juan County with sex-based discrimination and retaliation for making a discrimination complaint. But in court documents filed in March, April and May she dropped all but the retaliation charge.
Bloomfield City Attorney Ryan Lane said that by dropping those charges Robinson-Adair shows her claims "aren't as strong as she believed."
"There hasn't been any evidence of wrongdoing by any of the police departments or the city itself," he said.
No trial date has been set.
The lawsuit so far has cost the city $5,000, which is the deductible it paid for its New Mexico Municipal League insurance, said Ed Zendel, the league's risk services director.
The initial sex-based discrimination complaint claimed an academy cadet and police department sergeant sexually harassed Robinson-Adair. The sergeant allegedly began stalking Robinson-Adair in late 2008 after she graduated from the academy. He also allegedly hugged and kissed her in the station and, once, texted a video to her of him masturbating.
The sergeant was eventually investigated and subsequently quit. But the police department issued Robinson-Adair a letter of suspension in April 2010, "falsely accusing her of soliciting her superior's sexual advances," according to the complaint.
According to defense documents, Robinson-Adair admitted she flirted with the sergeant, texted him pictures with sexual content, and engaged in "sexual banter and innuendo." She also allegedly deleted all the sergeant's texts.
Eight months after receiving the letter of suspension, Robinson-Adair applied to work as a deputy for the Sheriff's Office and an officer for the Farmington Police Department, according to the complaint. But both denied her, the Sheriff's Office citing her letter of suspension.
Defense documents state that both law enforcement agencies rejected her application because she lied by claiming that the Bloomfield Police Department put her on unpaid administrative leave after her letter of suspension.
Later, during Robinson-Adair's time as a school resource officer in the Bloomfield School District, she claims she experienced further retaliation for her role in the sergeant quitting, according to court documents. A sergeant and Bloomfield Police Chief Mike Kovacs began micromanaging her, according to defense documents.
Kovacs asked often where she was, what she was doing, what calls she answered and how much time she spent in different schools, and he told her how he "wanted things done," according to Robinson-Adair's claims in the defense documents. Robinson-Adair described the tone of voice Kovacs used as "yelling" and "'hostile,'" according to the documents.
But Robinson-Adair admitted Kovacs' and other supervisors' actions were appropriate, according to the defense.
Kovacs declined to comment for this story as it involved ongoing litigation.
During her tenure as a school resource officer, Robinson-Adair texted a school district employee she had known from Mesa Alta Junior High School who is of Native American descent calling her a "'squaw,'" according to defense documents. Robinson-Adair initially said she couldn't remember sending the text but later admitted it could have happened, according to defense documents.
But, according to plaintiff documents, the employee did not complain about the text. Instead she charged the school district with sex- and race-based discrimination for earlier derogatory remarks the Mesa Alta principal had made. The principal later lost his job, according to defense documents.
Robinson-Adair testified in court on the discrimination charges filed by the Native American employee, and was later removed as a school resource officer and returned to patrol, according to court documents.
Plaintiff documents state she believes she was removed because she testified in the discrimination case. Defense documents cite her "inappropriate comments" and "lack of professionalism" as the reason the school's superintendent asked that she be removed.
Robinson-Adair's lawyer says his client was in an impossible position.
"The whole system falls apart," Pennington said, "if you intimidate employees to the extent they feel you can't be truthful of what's going around them."