(The Center Square) – Four female police officers have filed a $5 million tort claim against the Seattle Police Department, alleging sex discrimination, sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.

Officers Kame Spencer, Judinna Gulpan, Valerie Carson and Lauren Truscott filed a claim of damages against the city on Friday, alleging the perpetrators of the “grooming” and harassment are Chief Adrian Diaz, Lt. John O’Neil and SPD’s human resource manager, Rebecca McKechnie.

The claim cites the recent launch of SPD’s “30×30” initiative designed to bolster women in law enforcement with a goal of having 30% of SPD’s officers be women by 2030.

Officers responding anonymously in the report said SPD suffers from a culture of masculinity, double standards and disparate treatment and expectations of women, citing active department sexism.

Sumeer Singla, attorney for the four women, is a former assistant city attorney for Seattle.

He spoke with The Center Square about the tort claim.

Allegations in the claim against Diaz include his alleged interest in Carson, who joined SPD in October 2018 and was chosen for the Public Affairs Unit, according to Singla.

Diaz began to pay special attention to Carson, often commenting on her dresses and high heels, and keeping her talking in his office late in the evening, the claim contends.

The allegations being made by Spencer and Gulpan are against O’Neil.

“Along comes officer O’Neil who tells both Gulpan and Spencer that he will sort of mentor them, since they were fairly new officers,” Singla said. “That’s the classic grooming behavior.”

Singla said things went from bad to worse.

“When he felt that these women weren’t receptive to the relationship, he would become retaliatory,” he said. “That’s one of the problems the department has is they’ve got this tendency to weaponize the complaint process.”

The claim alleges O’Neil invited Gulpan to join him and other officers on a trip to Las Vegas, but she then found herself alone with him in his hotel room when he had previously said others would be showing up to watch football on television.

Singla said O’Neil allegedly told her “I’m really good at sex” at a dinner.

“When they were back at work, all of a sudden Gulpan is told she’s a difficult officer to work with and she’s reassigned,” Singla explained.

The claim says rumors started circulating that Gulpan and O’Neil hooked up on the trip and when she confronted him about the rumors Singla said, “He told her don’t worry about it, but it would be a feather in my cap if we did.”

Singla said the officer’s complaints were downplayed by McKechnie.

“They were told it seems like you have a personality problem,” Singla said. “It’s just a communication problem.”

All four of the officers named in the complaint have in some way been the face of SPD’s recruiting campaign.

“If the face of your recruiting are the same people saying they are being abused within the department, how are you going to actually hire more officers?” Singla asked.

Singla went on to say, “Jean Gulpan’s face was on a recruiting billboard, and there’s videos with her about joining the force. Now what would she say about recruiting?”

SPD’s Office of Public Affairs sent The Center Square an email saying the department “does not litigate tort claims in the media…”

The email goes on to state, “For that reason, the department will not respond to the personal attacks rooted in rough estimations of hearsay reflecting, at their core, individual perceptions of victimhood that are unsupported and – in some instances – belied by the comprehensive investigations that will no doubt ultimately be of record.”

The Center Square reached out to Diaz’s personal attorney but did not receive a response.