Denver Sheriff Discriminates Against Female Deputies, Lawsuit Says

Two female Denver deputies are suing the troubled sheriff's department, saying its policies put female employees at greater risk of harm and burnout.

The deputies said in the federal lawsuit filed Wednesday that male guards are treated favorably, in part because they don't have to pat down female inmates. The suit says female guards endure sexual harassment because they must search prisoners of both sexes. The deputies say female prisoners fight more often, and their pods are short-staffed, creating a dangerous environment.

City Attorney Scott Martinez says officials had not yet been served with the suit.

It comes as the department tries to make sweeping reforms after misconduct and excessive force allegations forced the sheriff's resignation. A pair of national consulting firms produced a 300-page report pointing to problems including short-staffing.