Echoes of Tennie Pierce – LAPD officer gets a $3.1 million bonus thanks to his bosses’ misconduct
For the fifth time in the last three years, retaliation by LAPD brass against officers who report misconduct by their bosses will cost taxpayers a lot of money.
Does LAPD have a problem? Is there still a code of silence? Is retaliation against whistleblowers common?
You be the judge — actually, you don’t have to. A jury did that job Monday and awarded Officer Robert Hill, a 25-year veteran, $3.1 million because he was transferred from Northeast Division to Newton Division for refusing to back down on his complaint against Sgt. Gilbert Curtis.
Hill who was a senior lead officer reported that Curtis, listed as Hispanic in LAPD records, stole money from the Youth Explorer Program and used racial slurs like “wetbacks” and went around saying things like, “If God loved them, why did he make them black?”
LAPD brass decided the two just didn’t get along (Curtis filed a police report in 2005 claiming his subordinate had threatened to kill him) so they separated them by moving Hill to patrol in Newton and exonerating Curtis of wrongdoing.
That was a big mistake — retaliation of such a terrible nature that Hill “should receive $3 million for pain and suffering in addition to $127,500 in lost earnings.”
I don’t know about you but I’ve faced worse retaliation than that for my big mouth and I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t have eaten spaghetti with dog food sauce for the $2.7 million the city originally agreed to pay firefighter Tennie Pierce for his pain and suffering — or even the $1.6 million he finally got (the rest going to his lawyers who didn’t have to eat dog food).
Is the jury system the problem? Is the City Attorney’s office incompetent? Does LAPD brass protect its own and punish underlings? Is there no workplace discipline in city government?
Batten down the hatches, Chick’s got another audit of suspicious contracting at L.A.’s port
Everyone who’s ever owned a boat knows it’s nothing but a hole to put money in. L.A.’s port is much the same except the port’s hole sends money out to contractors, often in a manner best described as pay-to-play.
City Controller Laura Chick slammed that practice in a 2003, followed up in 2005 and is issuing another full audit today so we’ll be finding out if real progress has been in protecting the public’s money.
Here’s what she said three years ago:
“It is time the Port of Los Angeles comes fully into the 21st century, and that includes opening itself up to public scrutiny. One significant step forward that the Harbor Commission must take is to publicly adopt and implement a sound leasing policy”