LAPD Detective Awarded $1.5 Million in Workplace Retaliation Lawsuit

A jury has awarded a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective $1.5 million after he sued the city for workplace retaliation. The Los Angeles Times reports that LAPD Detective Jamie McBride claimed that he was denied advancement in his career because he refused to sign a false statement that was prepared by a federal prosecutor. McBride has been working for the LAPD since 1990.

McBride, who joined the LAPD in 1990, won the retaliation lawsuit after the Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for a little more than one day. McBride claims that he refused to sign a declaration in a case that involved 38th Street gang members. A man by the name of Ruben Marquez was a confidential informant to McBride and one of the people charged in the case. McBride thought the declaration was inaccurate as it did not reflect the role he played in encouraging Marquez to get close to a Mexican Mafia leader.

McBride Claims He was Retaliated Against by LAPD Bureau Chief

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ariel Neuman agreed to allow Marquez to enter a plea to a lesser charge, but the LAPD was unhappy with McBride’s refusal to sign the declaration. According to the lawsuit, in 2012, McBride was removed from field duty, and then sent to a Board of Rights (BOR) hearing the following year. While awaiting his hearing with the BOR, McBride was relieved from duty and did not receive any pay for five months. He was also suspended for 10 days without pay after the board found him guilty of failing to document his contacts with Marquez, and failing to train his subordinates on how to use confidential informants properly.

LAPD bureau chief, Jorge Villegas, prohibited McBride from having any supervisory roles and working as a night watch detective supervisor. Villegas, who insists he did not personally know McBride, claims that he was unaware of McBride’s refusal to sign the declaration.

But Rodney Rodriguez, a former LAPD police officer, claims that he heard Villegas say that McBride was an embarrassment to the LAPD due to his refusal to sign a declaration that was given to him by a federal prosecutor. According to Rodriguez’ sworn declaration, Villegas also said that the entire case could have been jeopardized as a result of McBride’s refusal.

McBride was elected to the Los Angeles Police Protective League’s board of directors in January 2015 after he was unable to advance in his LAPD career. The veteran detective claims that he suffers from hypothyroidism due to stress, and was awarded $1 million for pain and suffering, and $500,000 for future pain and suffering by the Los Angeles Superior Court jury.

Contact a California Workplace Retaliation Lawyer

If you feel that you are being treated unfairly at work or your employer is retaliating against you due to a protected characteristic, you may have a case. Contact the experienced California workplace retaliation lawyers at Hennig Ruiz for a free consultation today.