Oakton pays former officer $81,000 to settle discrimination lawsuit

Updated 10/23/2017 3:26 PM

Oakton Community College will pay a former campus police officer $81,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging gender discrimination and a hostile work environment.

The Des Plaines school's board of trustees voted unanimously last week to settle the lawsuit with Joan Nebel, a fired public safety sergeant who previously served as the acting police chief. She worked in the department from 2002 through 2015.


Nebel's lawsuit also claimed the college defamed her by posting fliers around campus with her photo, promoting a seminar at College of DuPage called "Problem Employees and the Games They Play." The poster included the photo of another former employee who sued the college after his firing, according to the lawsuit.

A judge later dismissed that part of Nebel's lawsuit.

Nebel alleged her firing was the result of her bringing gender discrimination complaints to her bosses. According to the lawsuit, in February 2015 Nebel supported allegations of gender discrimination made by two former female Oakton cops, and raised allegations of gender discrimination of her own.

In retaliation, a "formal investigation" was initiated against her by then-Acting Chief George Carpenter, leading to her firing that June, the suit alleges.

The college denied the allegations of discrimination and retaliation, according to court documents.

In November 2015, the college hired Dale Gustafson as police chief, but he resigned after less than a year and a half on the job. Marvin Bornschlegl, a former psychology professor and personal counselor at the school, is now the police chief. Bornschlegl served in the Morton Grove Police Department from 1991 to 2013.

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