On Monday, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury ruled in favor of the city of Burbank in the discrimination/retaliation lawsuit trial of Burbank Police Officer Cindy Guillen-Gomez. In an article up on the Burbank Leader website, City Attorney Amy Albano is quoted as saying: “We believed that Ms. Guillen had not been discriminated against or retaliated against . We are pleased that the jury system worked for us in this case.” Wait, wait! It may be a little early for city officials to be high-fiving each other. I’m hearing an appeal is being seriously considered.
A well-connected source tells me the jurors were leaning toward ruling in Guillen-Gomez’s favor and giving her a six-figure award, however, the judge’s late decision to toss out most of the officer’s complaints tied their hands. Judges have been wrong, trial verdicts overturned — so this case may not be a closed book just yet.
In the past few months, the city has lost two of these BPD lawsuit cases and won one. Not a great score. The city has spent millions fighting these cases — reportedly as much as $3.4 million on Guillen-Gomez’s case alone. Also, the city has handed over millions for new programs, consultants, and changes in the BPD since a slew of lawsuits were filed against the department beginning in 2009. In the Leader article City Attorney Albano addresses this: “It’s my understanding that the complaints happened before the changes with the current command staff.” You gotta wonder, if Guillen-Gomez’s case and the others were without merit, then why was it necessary to bring in Interim Police Chief Scott LaChasse and his team to make some sweeping and very expensive changes?