A former California Highway Patrolman is seeking $3.5 million in damages based on claims of discrimination by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). In court documents, the plaintiff contends that the CHP discriminated against him after he served as a whistleblower against unlawful activity taking place within the CHP. The plaintiff claims that since he made reports, the CHP has retaliated against him, causing him civil seven-figure civil injuries.
The case began in 2009 when the plaintiff reported “improper governmental activities” involving a CHP sergeant. The information was relayed to him by other officers and the plaintiff immediately reported it in his capacity as a union steward for the CHP. The governmental activities included misuse of a state vehicle, inappropriate public comments and failure to adequately take reports according to CHP and state protocol.
The plaintiff claims that shortly after he made the report, he was suddenly suspended for five days for leaving work early one day and failing to file a report. Plaintiff reports that he expected to receive a positive recognition from his superiors and was shocked to find out he was being suspended. He claims other officers are not given five days suspension for identical offenses.
On the defense, the CHP asserts that their actions were standard disciplinary procedure, by the book, and should no way be interpreted as retaliatory against the plaintiff. CHP declined to comment further citing pending litigation.
The plaintiff also claims that other officers refused to accompany him to injury accident calls or failed to offer proper backup. He also claims he received ridicule and disdain over his pending divorce. In addition, the plaintiff claims that when he began to suffer back problems, his superiors did not take the proper procedures to arrange for benefits, including his request for a newer patrol car with better back support.
Plaintiff also received a 10-day suspension in July, 2010 after CHP discovered he set off fireworks at his home. His suit states that his punishments have been “far out of line” and are not congruent with his acts. It is a clear retaliation for his whistleblowing against the CHP sergeant, according to the plaintiff.
His suit claims $3,572,184 in compensatory damages and an immediately transfer to another precinct.