Beverly Hills loses another suit against police chief

By James Queally | Los Angeles Times

A Los Angeles jury on Tuesday upheld allegations of workplace harassment and retaliation against Beverly Hills Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli, marking the latest defeat in a string of lawsuits lobbed at the chief from inside her own agency.

Beverly Hills Police Lts. Renato Moreno, Michael Foxen and Shan Davis and a civilian employee named Dona Norris were awarded $1.1 million after three days of deliberations by the jury, said Brad Gage, an attorney representing a number of people with claims against the chief. Moreno was awarded $350,000, while each of the other plaintiffs was granted $250,000 each, according to a statement from the city.

Spagnoli became the city’s first female police chief in 2016, and her tenure has been marked by repeated allegations that she made derogatory comments about the religions, sexual orientation and ethnicity of subordinates.

The hiring of Spagnoli, a veteran law enforcement officer who previously served as the chief of the San Leandro and Benicia police departments, was met with much praise in 2016 after the city’s former chief retired amid questions that he was drawing a second salary from a private-sector job.

Spagnoli received a glowing write-up in Vogue, and she has served as a board member for the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police, which recently gave her an award for “accomplishments which have paved the way for other women in public safety.”

At least 21 current and former department employees have filed civil lawsuits or employment complaints that accuse Spagnoli of a range of misconduct, according to court records reviewed by The Times.

The city paid $2.3 million in December to settle the first of those claims, brought by retired Capt. Mark Rosen, who accused Spagnoli of making anti-Semitic remarks and denying him promotional opportunities based on his religion.

According to the lawsuit that resulted …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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