Neil Harvey, a 27-year veteran of the Newport Beach Police Department, alleges that he has been harassed and denied promotions because he is perceived as gay. He says he isn’t gay, but he’s got that reputation, and so he’s treated badly, he says.
I’ve been following the trial, and it sounds like Harvey’s got a strong case.
In today’s OC Reg article about the trial (Documents: Ex-chief had religious test for Newport police), we learn that things are going from bad to worse for the reputation of the NBPD:
Sworn depositions by city police officers … depict an agency plagued over the years by homophobia, favoritism and even religious standards for employees hoping to ascend the ranks.
All that comes amid internal upheaval; rank-and-file officers last spring described "serious morale problems" that risked driving away seasoned personnel, although other officers called the charge baseless. In December, police management called for an investigation into the promotional process, alleging it is "not based on the actual merit of the candidates."
The worst revelations concern former Chief Bob McDonell, who left in 2007:
According to several accounts, McDonell had a religious litmus test requiring those looking to climb the department's ladder to share his "Christian values." ¶ One saying in the department suggested that "you've got to carry a Bible around or he's got to see you carrying a Bible around to get promoted," Sgt. John Hougan said in a deposition.
Apparently, under McDonell’s regime, cops in the department understood that only stable married men were promoted:
"I think there were like seven guys who got married or got engaged and all of a sudden shot to the top of the list," [Officer Kenra] Duerst said during testimony at Harvey's trial this week.
Sheesh. It turns out that McDonell was brought in in 1993 to
clean up a department tarnished by the ousting of Chief Arb Campbell and Capt. Tony Villa, who faced sexual harassment complaints from 10 female employees, including one who accused them of raping her at a party.
See also R. Scott Moxley's comment