LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Five women have filed tort claims against former Lawton City Attorney Frank Jensen and are seeking in excess of $10,000 from the City of Lawton and its officials.
The claims come from five different women who worked for Jensen at the City Attorney’s office. They claim Jensen harassed them, beginning back in 2009 and continuing until May of this year, when Jensen started working from home.
In the claims the women said they often received unwelcomed and gender-based comments from Jensen. The five women claim that they, among other female staff, were treated less favorably than the male staff.
According to the tort claims, the women said that Jensen considered the physical appearance of female applicants when making hiring decisions, and would have women who worked in the office look up the female applicants’ social media pages before scheduling job interviews with them. The women said that Jensen would only schedule interviews with those applicants that physically met with his approval.
The women claim that Jensen would often make comments about female legal assistants’ outward appearances and use derogatory names against other females. The women claim that Jensen would also make offensive remarks about the race of minority employees.
According to the tort claims, Jensen frequently made flirty and patronizing remarks and gestures to female staff members.
One woman said Jensen followed her to a retail store and questioned her about what she was doing. Others claimed he would stop by their homes unannounced and text them constantly after work. The women claim if they did not respond in a way Jensen liked, he would scold them.
Jensen reportedly would become jealous when his female assistants talked to other male attorneys and would say the men were trying to “steal” them from him, telling the women, “you’re all mine.”
Another woman said Jensen requested for her to accompany him while shopping, saying they were there to purchase his underwear.
The women said that if they were granted leave or given a promotion, but did not treat Jensen the way he liked, he would criticize them in front of other employees and remind the individual of their “debt” to him.
According to the tort claim, during Jensen’s tenure, 25 legal assistants worked in the office. Fifteen of those, all of them women, have left the office with Jensen’s behavior being at least in part a reason for their exit.
The women claim that the Lawton City Council and upper level managers were aware of Jensen's behavior, yet Jensen still remained employed by the city and no disciplinary action was taken.
Earlier this year, more complaints were made against Jensen. At that time, the tort claim says Mayor Stan Booker allegedly commented that Jensen and his family were his top priority.
We reached out to Mayor Stan Booker but have not received a response at this time.
We also reached out to several city council members about the allegations but were told they could not talk about the situation due to signing a confidentiality agreement.
We hoped to reach out to Frank Jensen but were unable to find a way to contact him.
In August, the City of Lawton entered into a “resignation agreement” with Jensen, allowing him to remain employed by the city through March 2020. Jensen continues to receive full salary as well as continued retirement allowance, among other benefits city employees receive.