UPDATED 9:18 AM PT — Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross announced his resignation after being mentioned in a civil lawsuit filed in federal court. The complaint reportedly called Ross out for allegedly ignoring allegations from lower officers regarding sexual harassment.
The officer stated she had been experiencing sexual harassment and a hostile work environment, and brought the behavior to the attention of the commissioner. While the complaint did not accuse Ross of sexual harassment of any kind, it said he did nothing to correct or investigate the circumstances.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney released a statement before the complaint went public. He said while he is thankful to Ross for his years of service, he thinks “new leadership will help reform the department and show that racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination simply will not be tolerated.”
The news of the commissioner’s resignation came as a shock to many in the community, including community activist Anton Moore who worked with Ross and the police department to combat gun violence in his neighborhood.
“I bet you Ross is a good guy, you know what I mean?” he asked. “But when you hold a position like the commissioner of a police department, it’s tough because you take it from all sides.”
His resignation comes just one week after Mayor Kenney called him the best police commissioner in America, following a nearly seven hour-long stand-off that left 6 officers injured.
Deputy Commissioner Christine Coulter, who has served in law enforcement for nearly 30 years, has been named acting police commissioner while a search takes place for Ross’s permanent replacement.