In the News

LA DA’s Demoted Chief of Staff Latest to Sue, Claims Retaliation

A former chief of staff for Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said in a new lawsuit that he demoted her in retaliation for disagreeing with his policies. The complaint against the county and the DA filed Tuesday by Gregory W. Smith and Diana Wang Wells of the Law Offices of Gregory W. Smith […]

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$4-Million Verdict for LAPD Captain Over Fake Nude Photo Shared by Cops

A jury awarded a female Los Angeles police captain $4 million in damages Friday in her sexual harassment lawsuit against the city over a nude photograph that was doctored to look like her and shared around the department. In reaching the verdict after a day of deliberations, the Los Angeles County Superior Court jurors found […]

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Former LA County Coroner’s Investigator Gets $8.4 Million in Lawsuit

A former coroner’s office investigator was awarded $8.4 million on Friday, Dec. 17, in her lawsuit against Los Angeles County in which she said she was forced into early retirement in 2017 in retaliation for raising suspicions about the death of an 8-year-old disabled boy.

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LAPD Officer Accuses Top Garcetti Advisor of Sexual Harassment

A Los Angeles police officer who served as a bodyguard for Mayor Eric Garcetti for seven years has sued the city, alleging that he was sexually harassed repeatedly by one of the mayor’s top advisors and that Garcetti witnessed some of the inappropriate behavior but did not stop it. LAPD Officer Matthew Garza, who worked […]

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Bloodhound Handlers Win $10.2 Million in Lawsuit Against LAPD

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — LAPD K-9 handler Karolin Clarke and her bloodhound Gemma raced into a pitch-black alcove in Chinatown as viewers watched on live TV. It was January of 2017 and they were hot on the trail of a killer. Vinh Dao had just stabbed two men to death during a card game inside the Hop Sing Tong social club. Officer Clarke and her K-9 tracked a fresh trail of blood north on Hill Street. But where was Clarke’s back-up? A tactical team was supposed to be at her side because the K-9 handler must focus on the dog — and use both hands to control and interpret its movements.

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Long Beach Police Officer Wins $2.5 Million in Retaliation Suit

A Long Beach police officer who said he was subjected to a backlash in 2015 when he protested how management responded to complaints by a recruit who did not want to train in an unsafe area was awarded $2.5 million in damages today. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for less than a day before finding in favor of 28-year veteran Alex Lawrence, who struggled to maintain his emotions and as he heard the verdict and later when thanking jurors. “I dedicated my whole life to the Long Beach Police Department,” 48-year-old Lawrence said. “Every witness who came in and testified for the city contradicted themselves.”

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Former West Covina Deputy Fire Marshal Wins Whistleblower Lawsuit Against City

A jury sided with a former West Covina deputy fire marshal last week in his whistleblower-retaliation lawsuit against the city. Jason Briley had worked for the West Covina Fire Department for nine years when he was fired in September 2015. The city claimed Briley had been fired for improper conduct and being difficult to work with, but he alleged the move was retaliation for him pointing out various city facilities — including City Hall, the Cortez Park Community & Senior Center and the Cameron Park Community Center — did not have proper fire alarm systems.

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Jury Awards $3 Million to LAPD Officer Who Alleged Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

A Los Angeles jury has awarded $3 million to a police officer who alleged she was retaliated against — and placed under surveillance — after complaining that a supervisor sexually harassed her. The weeklong trial came to an end late Wednesday with the 12-0 verdict, said Gregory Smith, an attorney representing the officer. “We were very pleased with the verdict,” Smith said Thursday. “She feels completely vindicated now.” A spokesman for the city attorney’s office said the agency was reviewing its options, including whether to appeal.

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Montebello Firefighter Creswell’s $1 Million Dollar Award Upheld

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A judge refused today to set aside a jury’s award of nearly $1 million to a black Montebello firefighter who said he was the victim of racial harassment and retaliation for filing a lawsuit over his treatment. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White said the unanimous jury verdict on July 1 in favor of plaintiff Vernon Creswell was supported by the evidence. The jury awarded a total of $935,150 to Creswell. The award consisted of $185,150 in lost wages because he was not promoted to captain and another $750,000 for emotional distress.

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LAPD Officer Wins $1.2-Million Verdict in Racial Harassment Suit

A jury Tuesday ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay $1.2 million to a black police officer who alleged he was the butt of vulgar racial harassment by a white supervisor and other officers. In his lawsuit, Earl Wright, who joined the department in 1989, accused the supervisor, Sgt. Peter Foster, and a handful of officers of carrying out racial pranks and making comments that left him “embarrassed and humiliated.” In one instance, the lawsuit claimed, Wright asked Foster for permission to leave work early and Foster, who is white, responded, “Why? You gotta go pick watermelons?”

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