Rantz: Officer suing Seattle police for gender discrimination accused of gender bias

Mar 13, 2024, 5:55 PM | Updated: Mar 15, 2024, 11:34 am

Inset: Headshot of Seattle Police Department (SPD) Captain Deanna Nollette; Primary photo: An SPD v...

Inset: Headshot of Seattle Police Department (SPD) Captain Deanna Nollette; Primary photo: An SPD vehicle parked (Both photos courtesy of the SPD's SPD Blotter)

(Both photos courtesy of the SPD's SPD Blotter)

When Seattle police veteran Deanna Nollette sued the department, alleging gender discrimination, several officers said they found it ironic. They told The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH Nollette is “notorious” for mistreating female officers. Several staff members alleged that she warned female officers against getting pregnant.

Captain Nollette accused the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and Chief Adrian Diaz of wage, job and gender discrimination. Amongst her complaints, Nollette claimed Diaz suggested female officers act as cheerleaders during an SPD flag football team that was meant to be a “team building exercise.” But in a series of interviews, several female SPD employees told The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that Nollette routinely “picks on” women and has a “bias” towards men.

To make their point, these SPD employees said Nollette insulted pregnant officers with a comment at a meeting with her unit. The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH provided confidentiality to four sources in this story because they are not permitted to speak on the record regarding personnel issues within the SPD and feared retribution.

“There were three people in the room that were pregnant. She basically made the comment that like, ‘can you all schedule your pregnancies at different times so you’re not messing with the unit… or staffing …'” one female SPD employee explained to The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. It’s uncertain whether Nollette was aware the employees were pregnant at the time.

More from Jason Rantz: King County sheriff directs deputies to ignore Burien encampment ban

Was this an off-color joke? Criticism of pregnant Seattle officers? Proof of gender bias?

One SPD staffer believed Nollette was attempting a politically incorrect joke: “It was rude. But she’s horrible. I’m still flabbergasted.” But in the context of the lawsuit against Chief Diaz, the staffer noted the irony.

“Are you f*****g kidding me? You’re going to complain about a flag football game? Seriously?” she remembered thinking when she read about the lawsuit. She said she’s never had any problems with the chief.

Two other female SPD staff members told similar stories to The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, independent of each other. Both said they were in the room at the time of the comment, sometime in the summer of 2021.

“In front of everyone, Nollette said she wanted people to stop getting pregnant or we all needed to do a better job scheduling with each other because it was hard for her,” another source explained. “She was trying to joke but it came off bad … Coming from female Command [Staff], it was downright ridiculous and it was in a room of like 30 people so it spread like wildfire.”

Two additional SPD sources said this incident has resulted in a recent complaint to the Office of Police Accountability (OPA). The OPA did not respond to requests for comment.

Nollette’s reputation before gender discrimination lawsuit

A number of sources, almost entirely female, said they have had run-ins during Nollette’s 27 years with the department. While she has some defenders, many critics said she only looks out for herself, befriending women only when it benefits her.

“[She is] notorious for not playing fair or nice with females so it’s really ironic that she’s talking about misogyny and not playing fair. She has always shown a bias for men and against women,” one colleague told The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Concerns over Nollette’s character were deeply personal for former SPD Bomb Squad Detective Randy Curtis. He said his wife fell victim to Nollette’s unprofessional behavior.

More from Jason Rantz: Officer after losing health benefits: ‘I’ve learned we can’t expect things from the city’

Allegations of turning on a friend

Randy Curtis said he and his wife Pilar were personal friends with Nollette. According to Curtis, he and his wife, also an SPD Detective at the time, would socialize with Nollette and her husband, and their friendship deepened over time. During this period, Pilar worked under Nollette in the Domestic Violence (DV) Unit.

But Curtis said their friendship soon soured.

In 2016, Pilar started experiencing memory lapses, which were later identified as the early stages of dementia. As these memory issues became noticeable, Pilar was reassigned from the DV Unit. Curtis said he encouraged his wife to talk with Nollette, only to discoverer that Nollette played a part in the reassignment.

“When it was brought to Nollette’s attention that Pilar was displaying memory issues, Nollette ordered everyone in the DV unit to compose a memo describing everyone’s observations and their interactions with my wife and any memory lapse issues that they noticed,” Randy Curtis alleged to The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. An officer confirmed this account to The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Randy Curtis said throughout all the medical issues, Nollette never spoke to his wife.

“She [Pilar] never heard a word from this woman who was a personal friend,” Randy Curtis explained.

Pilar died on August 21, 2022, at just 58 years old.

The comments in context of gender discrimination lawsuit

The alleged comment by Nollette does not mean her allegations of gender discrimination against the SPD are unjust. And some officers have conceded privately to The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that while they don’t view the department as sexist, they do believe it can be cliquish. But if there is a cultural problem within the department where women feel dismissed or diminished, Nollette may have played a role.

The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH repeatedly reached out to Nollette’s attorney Judith Lonnquist for comment, but did not hear back. The SPD did not provide comment.

Lonnquist, speaking to KUOW, said Nollette is now a victim of retaliation. Two months after filing her lawsuit, Nollette said she was moved to the night shift. Her attorney called the decision “a retaliatory act to intimidate other women in the department who have also experienced discrimination.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow Jason on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram, and  Facebook.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-7pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

KTTH Opinion

Seattle students rally...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle-area students to stage hate rally Tuesday as antisemitism on campus surges

Seattle-area students are holding antisemitic events throughout the state. Parents expect rally after rally to espouse antisemitism.

9 hours ago

Photo: Photo: The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a major case around homeless camping bans. It could ...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: United States Supreme Court could save Seattle from homeless crisis

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a major case around homeless camping bans. It could finally end the progressive policy grip on Seattle.

1 day ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Double Shot: Have you grabbed your OJ Simpson memorabilia yet?

It’s 2024 and people still want OJ Simpson memorabilia? Really? Jason Rantz and Jake Skorheim here for another Double Shot. Listen to KIRO Nights weeknights w/ Jake Skorheim at 7pm on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM Listen to KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM Listen to The Jason Rantz Show weekdays from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. on […]

3 days ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: There Were A Lot of Anti-Israel Protests This Week

We had a whole lot of anti-Israel protests this week. But who are they really? Jason Rantz and Bryan Suits discuss on the KTTH Roundtable. Listen to The Bryan Suits Show weekdays from 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. on AM 770 KTTH or on-demand wherever you listen to podcasts. Listen to The Jason Rantz Show […]

4 days ago

Columbia University protesters...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Are the pro-Hamas, Columbia University protesters the new Black Lives Matter radicals?

The Columbia University student protesters is following the same script that made the Black Lives Matter movement do destructive.

4 days ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Is Ending Homelessness Even Possible?

We might finally have a tool to end (or at least make a considerable dent in) homelessness if used correctly, courtesy of Donald Trump and SCOTUS. Is the end of progressive handcuffs on homeless policy around the corner? Listen to The Jason Rantz Show weekdays from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. on AM 770 KTTH […]

4 days ago

Rantz: Officer suing Seattle police for gender discrimination accused of gender bias