P.G. cleared in gay cop discrimination case.
Friday, October 23, 2009
A federal judge has let the city of Pacific Grove off the hook on allegations from P.G. Sgt. Darrin Smolinski, who claimed he was denied promotions because he is gay, and in retaliation for testifying on behalf of a bisexual co-worker who unsuccessfully sued the city for sexual harassment and relatiation. Smolinski also alleged a hostile work environment.
On Oct. 16 U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte tossed out the case, agreeing with the city's contention that Smolinski hasn't produced enough evidence for a trial. The only evidence of retaliation is the timing between his testimony and discharge, Whyte ruled: "The remainder of the plaintiff's showing amounts essentially to his personal speculations as to the motives of the defendants."
Likewise, the judge dismissed Smolinski's claims of a hostile work environment: "At best, plaintiff has come forward with evidence that his sexual orientation was known to some within the department, and that over the course of his 10-year tenure, he has been offended by some comments and conduct, only a few of which were directed at him."
The defendants included the city, Police Chief Darius Engles and former P.G. police chief Scott Miller, who Smolinski accused of interfering with a potential promotion.Whyte ruled that Smolinski had not provided evidence of "anti-homosexual attitude" on the part of either Miller or former city manager Jim Colangelo.
Smolinski's lawyer has stated that he may appeal the ruling.
In a separate matter Miller's wife, Jane Miller, filed a lawsuit against the city of Carmel-by-the-Sea, alleging workplace harassment and sexual discrimination by City Administrator Rich Guillen. That lawsuit is ongoing.