Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters
A controversial lawsuit filed by a Burbank police Lieutenant and four officers last Thursday is the talk of the town. In fact, the story is still getting a lot of exposure across the Internet and in the media. Today, the lead lawyer, whose firm filed the lawsuit, reiterated the allegations of widespread discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other misconduct in the Burbank PD at a news conference.
Attorney Solomon E. Gresen accused the Burbank PD of giving preferential treatment to white males and utilizing flawed hiring practices, “…. all minority officers must be quote, unquote white enough to be hired.” On KNX 1070 newsradio today, Burbank City Attorney, Dennis Barlow, responded to the suit by saying in an interview: “… we don’t like to try our cases in the press. We like to try them in the courtroom.”
Well, Attorney Barlow may be looking forward to taking this case to trial, but that’s not what some Burbank residents want to hear. If the allegations are true, some feel the city should settle now, rather than go through a long drawn out trial. No doubt a settlement will be expensive now, but a court decision that favors the defendants could be even more so later. Also, the way I see it, when you weigh the damage to the image of city, the morale of the Burbank PD, and public confidence, a quick settlement makes better sense than a lengthy court battle.
The lawsuit was filed by Burbank Lieutenant Omar Rodriguez, police officers Jamal Childs, Elfego Rodriguez, Steve Karagiosian, and Cindy Guillen-Gomez.