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Glendale Sergeant to Receive $400,000 : Police: City will pay sum to settle complaints filed by officer who earlier had won a discrimination lawsuit. He will retire.

August 20, 1992|AMY LOUISE KAZMIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Glendale police sergeant who won a discrimination lawsuit against the department in 1986 will receive a $400,000 settlement to resolve two subsequent complaints he filed for alleged harassment in the wake of the earlier verdict.

Under the agreement approved Tuesday by the Glendale City Council, Ricardo L. Jauregui, 42, currently on sick leave, will also retire from the force at his present rank "as soon as possible," City Atty. Scott H. Howard said.

The settlement brings to a close a lengthy legal battle between Jauregui and the department, for which he has worked since 1973.

"There has been a long history and that history is over," Howard said after the council approved the settlement. "I think everyone can move forward from here."

Jauregui's attorney, Patrick McNicholas, said his client is "glad that the episode is behind him."

The Latino officer won a discrimination suit against the department in 1986, when a U.S. District Court judge ruled that he had been unfairly passed over for promotion because of his ethnic background.

Judge Dickran Tevrizian ordered the department to promote Jauregui immediately to the rank of sergeant and awarded him an estimated $8,000 in back pay for the period in which he would have held the higher rank. A federal appeals court upheld Tevrizian's ruling in 1988.

In the wake of that decision, Jauregui claimed, city and top police officials continued to take retaliatory actions against him to punish him for his victory. Jauregui filed two separate suits in connection with the alleged harassment. Both of them will end under the settlement, Howard said.

One of the suits charged that the department unfairly disciplined the sergeant on several occasions. The second accused the city of malicious prosecution in filing a counter-complaint against Jauregui in connection with an unrelated suit filed by the sergeant's wife and their young daughter.

In 1988, Roberta Jauregui and the child were awarded $365,000 by a Glendale Superior Court jury for a 1984 incident in which they were mauled by a police dog assigned to Ricardo Jauregui.

After that suit was filed, the city countersued, charging that the officer had been negligent in caring for the dog and, therefore, was responsible for the attack. That cross-complaint was later dismissed by a judge.

In the last year, Jauregui, who had headed the department's auto theft unit, was twice put on paid leave while city and police officials investigated undisclosed allegations of professional misconduct. In February, the Police Department announced that the sergeant would be demoted to the rank of officer, a decision Jauregui appealed.

As part of the settlement, Jauregui will retire as a sergeant with the usual benefits for that rank, Howard said. Jauregui has been on disability since February.

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