A Cicero auxiliary police officer has accused several supervisors in her department of forcing her to have sex, sexually assaulting her or making offers to help her career in return for sexual favors, according to a federal lawsuit.
The suit also accuses officials in the town of failing to address the harassment when Auxiliary Police Officer Nadia Bull reported it. Bull said she was told that her complaints of sexual harassment were “disruptive to the workplace.”
Bull filed the suit last month in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Bull wants the court to order Cicero to take steps to eliminate sexual harassment and for Bull to be promoted to a full-time position with the department, which she said she was promised before complaining about harassment.
Bull’s attorney, Keith Hunt, did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Named in the suit are Raul Perez, former executive staff commander; Serge Rocher, director of the Cicero Police Department’s Auxiliary Task Force and Police Sgt. Frank Savaglio.
Perez has retired from the department, according to town spokesman Ray Hanania. Both Rocher and Savaglio still work there.
None of the men could be reached for comment.
Hanania said the town was made aware of an incident in October 2017 and investigated Bull’s complaints “immediately upon learning of the claims.” The investigation was later closed without discipline for any of the men named in the suit.
“As a result of the investigation, we believe the allegations are false, and we deny the claims that are being made in this lawsuit,” Hanania said.
Hanania could not provide any details about the investigation. He said Perez retired about the same time but couldn’t provide his retirement date or say whether it was related to the investigation.
In the lawsuit, Bull alleges one of her supervisors forced her to have sex with him and another sexually assaulted her.
Bull says despite turning down repeated romantic requests by Savaglio, he insisted she allow him to come to her home to discuss promotional opportunities.
While at her home, the lawsuit alleges, “Savaglio grabbed and kissed [Bull], and then pulled her into her bedroom” where “Savaglio used his power and position as a supervisory officer to force [Bull] to have sex with him.”
On another occasion, Perez came to her home uninvited and allegedly “forcibly groped [Bull].” Despite Bull crying and repeatedly telling Perez “no,” Perez allegedly “digitally penetrated” Bull and “then fondled himself in front of” her, according to the lawsuit.
Perez allegedly threatened her job if she complained, telling her: “You’re a woman. You’re a female officer, you need to know your place!” according to the suit.
Perez once worked as a bodyguard for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and was disciplined for failing to report that the driver of the former governor had been drinking, the Sun-Times previously reported.
Rocher, who has been described as working as a “bodyguard” for Cicero Town President Larry Dominick, was the subject of a 2016 Better Government Association story related to no-bid contracts awarded to Gamma Team Security Inc., which employed Rocher.
The sexual harassment began even before Bull was hired by the department in 2017, according to the suit. In her initial in-person interview for the job, Bull alleges Rocher — who would be her immediate supervisor — made a sexual advance.
Bull also accuses Rocher of offering to ensure her a full-time position if she began a sexual relationship with him.
The town’s attorney, Julie Diemer, allegedly told Bull that her complaints of sexual harassment were “disruptive to the workplace” and prohibited Bull from filing details with the town’s Human Resources Department, according to the suit.
Diemer works for the Del Galdo Law Group, the Berwyn-based firm that represents the town of Cicero. She didn’t respond to requests to be interviewed, but Hanania provided a statement on Diemer’s behalf: “Neither the Human Resources Department nor town’s legal counsel have ever prevented Ms. Bull from filing a complaint or providing information regarding a complaint, and we strongly dispute Ms. Bull’s assertions.
“Ms. Diemer met with Ms. Bull as part of an internal investigation, and even provided Ms. Bull with her contact information should Ms. Bull have any questions, additional information or wish to discuss her complaint further.”
The harassment continued into 2019, according to Bull, who contends male co-workers mocked her complaints through jokes and making moaning noises.
Bull claims that as a result of her complaints her hours were reduced, she was denied a promotion and she suffered unfair discipline.