A former Los Angeles police sergeant who alleged she suffered backlash for complaining about alleged unlawful conduct by members of the department’s command staff settled her lawsuit with the city five days before trial was scheduled to begin.
Attorneys for plaintiff Cathy Marx and the city resolved the case during a mandatory settlement conference on Wednesday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ruth Ann Kwan. No terms were divulged and it could not be immediately ascertained if the settlement is subject to approval by the City Council.
Marx was a member of the Los Angeles Police Department from 1990 until November 2014. The plaintiff, a former Air Force lieutenant colonel and later an LAPD internal affairs investigator, filed her suit in October 2014, alleging that after coming forward with her various allegations against the command staff, she was “removed from a coveted position … to a position of low importance essentially relegated to reading mail generated by mentally unstable people concerning perceived wrongs caused by the police department.”
Marx said she made several reports to the LAPD’s Office of the Inspector General, which has oversight over the department’s internal disciplinary process. In October 2013, Marx told the IG that a captain had committed perjury and that an investigation should be opened, the suit stated. About two months later, she informed the IG that another captain ordered her to delete portions of a log recording dates on which action was taken in a particular investigation, the suit stated.
The captain mentioned by Marx was the supervisor at the time of all the plaintiffs, according to the lawsuit.
In March 2014, Marx reported to the IG and others that former LAPD Chief Charlie Beck’s daughter, Officer Brandi Scimone, sold her personal horse to the LAPD’s mounted unit in violation of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, the suit stated.
In November 2014, Marx reported to a superior that Beck attended a social event at the Saddle & Sirloin Club, during which LAPD members passed around naked pictures of nude women, the suit stated. The ex-chief also witnessed officers driving city vehicles while intoxicated, her suit alleged.
Instead of filing complaints and investigating the command staff officers, the LAPD removed Marx from Internal Affairs, denying her a coveted position and “ultimately ordered to a Board of Rights (hearing) to terminate her employment based on sham allegations of misconduct…,” her suit alleged.
The city maintained Marx violated her obligations as a police sergeant and tried to cover up her alleged misconduct.
Prior to the settlement, trial of Marx’s case was scheduled to begin Monday.