Jury awards $1.2M to former state law enforcement agent

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota jury has awarded $1.2 million to a former state law enforcement agent who claimed discrimination and retaliation.

The American News reports the jury sided Friday with past Division of Criminal Investigation agent Laura Zylstra Kaiser, who sued agency Director Bryan Gortmaker and ex-agent Mark Black.

Kaiser in a written statement thanked the jury for "giving me justice." She alleged violations of the federal Civil Rights Act and the South Dakota Human Relations Act.

Kaiser filed a sexual harassment complaint in 2011 against a former Brown County deputy who made inappropriate comments about her.

Kaiser said she discussed it with Black, claiming he broke her confidence and told others what happened.

Kaiser's lawsuit claimed the strife caused her to be demoted and transferred to Pierre against her wishes. She resigned in 2012.

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