BEVERLY HILLS—A Los Angeles jury upheld allegations of harassment and retaliation against Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli of the Beverly Hills Police Department on Tuesday, July 9. This legal defeat marks the latest outcome in several lawsuits that were filed against Chief Spagnoli.
Spagnoli who was accused by her co-workers of workplace harassment and discrimination was not found guilty of discrimination. The jury did not find any evidence of discrimination against any of the plaintiffs, but determined that Spagnoli’s remarks were of a hostile nature in the Moreno v. City of Beverly Hills case.
After three days of deliberation, the jury awarded Lieutenants Michael Foxen, Shan Davis, Renato Moreno, and a civilian employee named Dona Norris $1.1 million. Lt. Moreno was awarded $350,000 while the other co-plaintiffs were awarded $250,000 each. Originally each plaintiff in the Moreno v. City of Beverly Hills case demanded more than $20 million to be awarded to them.
At least 21 current and former employees filed civil lawsuits or employee complaints against Chief Spagnoli. According to the lawsuit, Spagnoli reacted with disgust when she discovered that Norris was not heterosexual. She asked Lt. Moreno if she should “dress Mexican” for a party he invited her to.
The city of Beverly Hills paid $2.3 million in December 2018 to settle claims made by Captain Mark Rosen. Rosen accused Spagnoli of making anti-Semitic remarks about him and claims she denied him opportunity because of his religion. Both Lt. Foxen and Moreno said they were reprimanded by Spagnoli for giving statements that favored Rosen’s case.
“The City is pleased that the jury found no discrimination against any of the plaintiffs. The City disagrees with the jury’s finding that alleged statements of Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli rose to the level of harassment or retaliation. The City remains committed to the police chief and her efforts to reform the department, and condemns those who are undermining those efforts, as was revealed in the trial.
In a separate matter, the city announced today that it has settled an age discrimination lawsuit brought by Clark Fogg, a member of the staff of the Beverly Hills Police Department’s forensic laboratory. Under the terms of the settlement, Fogg will receive a $300,000 payment and retire from the department.
The City of Beverly Hills remains committed to a BHPD that upholds the highest ideals of fairness, dignity, equality, and provides a positive work environment for all. The City is equally committed to continuing the significant improvements that Chief Spagnoli has brought to the Police Department including the addition of officers, enhancements in training, an increase in diversity, and greater public outreach,” said the city of Beverly Hills in a statement.
Canyon News reached out to Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli for comment, but could not be reached before print.