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Jan 2, 2018 3:20 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Details Of Settlement Between Police Detective Sergeant Lisa Costa And Town Are Released

Jan 3, 2018 10:52 AM

A Southampton Town Police official received a $300,000 payment to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit she filed against the department and the town, according to details of the settlement agreement that were released on Tuesday.

In the lawsuit, Detective Sergeant Lisa Costa alleged that she had been unfairly passed over for promotions and was sexually harassed as a female cop.

The settlement agreement was signed in August, but neither Kelly Magnuson, an attorney with Burke, Scolamiero & Hurd, LLP, a law firm in Albany representing Det. Sgt. Costa, nor Southampton Town Attorney James Burke were willing to divulge any of the details of the document at the time, noting that it was a “confidential settlement” that included a provision preventing Det. Sgt. Costa or her attorney from discussing the details of the settlement.

But after a Freedom of Information Law request was filed, Mr. Burke agreed on Tuesday that the details of the settlement should be accessible by the public.

The settlement did not indicate an admission of guilt on either side of the legal battle. Still, in the settlement, the town agreed to pay Det. Sgt. Costa $300,000 in cash and give her a credit for 22 sick days.

The case was dismissed with prejudice on September 14, meaning that it is permanently closed.

Det. Sgt. Costa filed the lawsuit in 2014 against the town, claiming that she was denied promotions and special assignments in favor of male officers. The complaint detailed several instances of sexual harassment by other department officers and how she was passed over for promotions by male officers on several occasions, even though she was qualified for the job.

Det. Sgt. Costa was hired as a seasonal officer in 1999 and quickly began climbing the ranks: She was promoted to a full-time police officer in 2000, a detective in 2005, and a sergeant in 2006. But at that point she hit the “glass ceiling” at the department, according to the complaint.

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Happy New Year officer.
By watchdog1 (468), Southampton on Jan 2, 18 3:48 PM
Good for her. Horrible that she doesn’t give her cases the same justice she demands.
By Bohay (18), Watermill on Jan 2, 18 4:20 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Bohay (18), Watermill on Jan 2, 18 4:20 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Bohay (18), Watermill on Jan 2, 18 4:20 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Bohay (18), Watermill on Jan 2, 18 4:20 PM
Why can we comment here, but not on the Mezyneski contract? Hm...
By Infoseeker (262), Hampton Bays on Jan 2, 18 5:33 PM
Could be "FAKE News" - I noticed it wasn't signed by Lisa. Where did this document come from? Did the Press do their due diligence on this?????
By HamptonDad (136), Hampton Bays on Jan 2, 18 7:33 PM
I think it's time to just spend the Southampton Town Police Department. Any major crimes they don't handle any murders they don't handle. They love to give out traffic tickets and tell you that everything
By chief1 (2452), southampton on Jan 2, 18 7:49 PM
I think it's time to disband the Southampton Town Police Department. The police department isn't involved in homicides, or Major Crimes. If you have a dispute with someone they will tell you it's civil. Throwing in all these controversies with different officers and a 300K settlement will make most taxpayers sick to their stomach. Let the state police take over these glorified meter maids jobs. Excuse my post from above it was messed up by voice text
By chief1 (2452), southampton on Jan 2, 18 7:53 PM
2 members liked this comment
Between this outrageous settlement given to this officer and the boondoggle payments made to ex-school officials, it's no wonder people are so fed up with anything the state, local or federal government touches.

If you shrink government, you shrink the problem. What do Democrats fail to understand?
By BillWillConn3 (157), Southampton on Jan 2, 18 8:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
Nepotism, corruption, and malfeasance are on both sides of the aisle.

Government is not the problem. People are.

Stop blaming things. It's lazy as things don't fight back.
By Mr. Z (10157), North Sea on Jan 2, 18 9:01 PM
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By P. Revere (81), hampton Bays on Jan 3, 18 12:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
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By thepresssucks (20), watermill on Jan 3, 18 6:41 AM
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By thepresssucks (20), watermill on Jan 3, 18 6:43 AM
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By toes in the water (635), southampton on Jan 3, 18 7:10 AM
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By thepresssucks (20), watermill on Jan 3, 18 6:44 AM
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By toes in the water (635), southampton on Jan 3, 18 7:17 AM
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By toes in the water (635), southampton on Jan 3, 18 7:26 AM
Detective Costa is above reproach for anyone who knows her. To endure in-house BS for being a female officer - let alone being passed over for promotion despite being one of the best detectives on the East End is unfair and unjust. Yes it's a generous payday, but it sends a loud and clear message.
By Harbor Master (93), Sag Harbor on Jan 3, 18 10:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
I doubt that the woman's "generous payday" is equitable compensation for the indignities she suffered or the inequities she's had to endue.

Good luck to her, and to the rest of the MOS, there's a lesson to be learned here -- IF you care to reflect on what sort of culture you've foisted within your ranks.



By Frank Wheeler (1794), Northampton on Jan 4, 18 12:24 AM
This poor female officer suffered many indignities for a long time despite her outstanding work history. It is difficult to believe that our elected officials did not have some knowledge of what was going on. Turning a blind eye is shameful and those who did these things should be made to personally pay the cost and be reprimanded. Kudos for Lisa Costa for having the courage and strength to fight this long batter. Whatever money she receives after lawyer fees and taxes is well deserved.
By crusader (383), East Quogue on Jan 4, 18 9:40 AM
So do the people who created or supported the hostile environment keep their jobs?
By Hambone (497), New York on Jan 4, 18 10:18 AM
1 member liked this comment
Keep there jobs?!?! They keep being rewarded for there actions by being promoted over more qualified men and women. Case in point Schurek who has no business even wearing a badge and his "activities" on duty and Kiernan who plead guilty to charges and they were swept under the carpet with dirty politics. They need to wipe out the entire top of that dept and start fresh. They are all dirty and the hostile environment for the women continues at the hands of them.
By mrobin (118), North Sea on Jan 5, 18 6:22 PM
All you people that think it's okay to pay some whiner 300K of taxpayers money are the same morons that can understand why they're little Johnny can't afford to live in the town they grew up in. In the real world that is 6 years salary for a person that works there but off. That was a disgusting move on the taxpayers
By chief1 (2452), southampton on Jan 6, 18 9:41 AM
If not $300k, what's the case worth in your opinion? What if it was your daughter, wife, or mother?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (3043), HAMPTON BAYS on Jan 6, 18 10:09 AM
Without commenting on the merits of Costa's case, how many more deplorable examples of STPD incompetence (Sr. Jackie) and unprofessional/criminal behavior (on-the-job narcotics use) must be revealed before the Town Board (finally[!]) disbands the department and turns policing over to county cops who actually know how to do the job.
By highhatsize (3568), East Quogue on Jan 6, 18 10:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
County Cops? Great thought......that'll mean higher taxes, slower response time, people that dont know the area and im pretty sure the old county chief is in federal prison and most of his cronies took deals to leave or retire? Talk about unprofessional/ criminal behavior! yeah sounds much better! STPD does a great job out here minus a few of the bosses that need to leave or get indicted
By mrobin (118), North Sea on Jan 6, 18 11:18 AM
I'd vote for the state cops or sherrifs to take over before choosing the county.
By bird (689), Sag Harbor on Jan 6, 18 12:00 PM
I'd vote for better behavior in the work place. Law enforcement officers should be held to a higher standard, and there are still men with morals out there. The parties involved should ideally be paying towards the $300K pay-out - then let's see how swift they might be to denigrate a female co-worker.

Despite the deep seated good old boys networks throughout society, treating women poorly really needs to come to an end. No wonder the pink hat marches were so prevalent across the country.
By Harbor Master (93), Sag Harbor on Jan 6, 18 12:54 PM
2 members liked this comment
Agreed, woman are to be respected in and out of the work place. Yet Det Costa should be as fair and impartial in her work.
By Bohay (18), Watermill on Jan 8, 18 11:04 AM
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