LAPD detective awarded $1.5 million payout in ‘false information’ lawsuit

Los Angeles Police headquarters in downtown L.A. Photo by John Schreiber.

The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday approved a $1.5 million payment plus some accrued interest to a veteran police detective who sued the city, alleging he was denied career advancements for refusing to sign a statement that contained false information.

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury in March found in favor of Detective Jamie McBride in his lawsuit stemming from incidents that began in 2011, when officers from the LAPD and several other agencies arrested 57 people in a roundup targeting a street gang.

One of those arrested was Ruben Marquez, who worked as a confidential informant for McBride from 2007-10, according to McBride’s lawyer, Gregory W. Smith.

McBride later spoke with Assistant U.S. Attorney Ariel Neuman and told him what he knew about Marquez and what the informant had done for the plaintiff, Smith told the jury. Smith said his client was later sent a declaration to review by Neuman, but that the detective refused to sign the document because it contained five errors.

McBride, who joined the force in 1990, claims he was removed from the field of duty in 2012 and sent to a Board of Rights hearing the following year because the LAPD was unhappy he had refused to sign the document.

Although McBride was cleared of five of the seven charges filed against him at the BOR hearing in 2014, Jorge Villegas, an LAPD bureau chief, prohibited McBride from working as a night watch detective supervisor and from having any supervisory roles, according to Smith.

Former LAPD Officer Rodney Rodriguez stated in a sworn declaration that he overheard Villegas say to someone in a cell phone call that McBride had embarrassed the department by refusing to sign the declaration and that the entire case could have been jeopardized.

“We’re going to have to deal with him,” Villegas said, according to Rodriguez’s declaration.

Deputy City Attorney Dennis Kong told jurors McBride was treated the same way any other LAPD officer would be under the same circumstances and that there was no retaliation by the department.

According to his lawsuit, McBride said he was unable to advance in his career because of the continuing restrictions, so he ran for director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League and was elected in January 2015.

–City News Service