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COMMUNITY NEWS / Covering Orange County's 33 Cities

Costa Mesa

November 03, 2000|Deepa Bharath, (949) 574-4226

A Superior Court judge has dismissed a racial discrimination lawsuit filed four years ago, ending a legal battle between the city and former Costa Mesa police officer Edward Gonzalez.

Gonzalez sued in 1996, alleging that the Police Department had fired him because of his race. Judge Robert Monarch ruled in favor of the Police Department and the city last week.

Police Lt. John FitzPatrick said Gonzalez was fired after he was found to have used excessive force on a prisoner and had been untruthful about the incident.

Although Gonzalez was found not guilty of assault in a 1995 criminal trial, FitzPatrick said he was terminated after an internal investigation.

Police Chief David L. Snowden said he hopes the judge's decision will be a "final chapter in a long saga" of court battles.

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