BEVERLY HILLS—On October 8, Beverly Hills Councilman, John A. Mirisch’s lawyers filed a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) to prevent using courts and threats of a lawsuit for those attempting to exercise their rights to free speech.

Beverly Hills Fire Department

The motion comes nearly a year after Mirisch requested to be dismissed as a defendant in the case of Los Angeles County firefighters who lost their jobs and livelihood over vaccine mandates instituted by the BH City Council in 2021.

Attorneys Scott Street and John W. Howard filed suit against the city of Beverly Hills on December 10, 2021, on behalf of Josh Sattley, Ettore Berardinelli Jr., and a non-profit agency, Protection of Educational Rights for Kids, citing that forcing firefighters who both requested religious exemptions from getting the vaccinations.  The firefighters were ordered to get vaccinated or lose their job.

Twenty-five firefighters requested a religious exemption. Berardinelli Jr., was granted a religious exemption. Eighteen of the twenty-five were allowed 30-day exemptions, five got the vaccine, and one, Sattley, was placed on unpaid leave.

The lawsuit contends that the mandate was “designed to undermine their credibility and to pressure them, under the threat of prosecution, to give up their religious freedom and get the shot.”

According to the lawsuit, “The firefighters have a property interest in their employment,” and “Sattley, has not worked or been paid in months.”

BH Police Fire Chief Greg Barton made several statements in support of the city’s vaccine mandates in a press release. Los Angeles County brought forward a motion to toss out at least 3 of the 12 cases from the plaintiff’s claiming the county did not have the legal authority to impose vaccine mandates.

In August, the Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis issued an order that required all health care workers, including firefighters be vaccinated.