Judge rejects police retrial

first_imgWHITTIER – A Superior Court judge has rejected the Whittier Police Department’s request for a new trial regarding a gender discrimination lawsuit that resulted in an award of $1.25 million to the plaintiff.The court also denied the department’s motion last week for the judge to overrule the jury’s verdict, which was rendered Oct. 28, 2005, in favor of former police officer Gina Zanone.Zanone, who began working for the Whittier Police Department in 1997, claimed in her lawsuit that she was the subject of more than 20 separate instances of harassment after she filed a gender discrimination complaint with an independent investigator in December 2000.According to Zanone’s attorney, Michael Grobaty, police department attorneys filed a motion for a re-trial following the Oct. 28 verdict because they claimed that errors in the trial unfairly prejudiced the department.However, Grobaty said the evidence was strong enough for the jury to rule in his client’s favor.“The court ruled correctly that after a 30-day trial, both sides received a fair trial and that Gina Zanone was a victim of discrimination and retaliation by the Whittier Police Department,” Grobaty said. “Justice was served.”Diana Fields, attorney for the city and police department, was unavailable for comment.However, Jason Zuhlke, spokesman for the police department, said the court’s decision to deny the retrial was wrong.“The decision was in error,” Zuhlke said. “The motion for a new trial had more than sufficient evidence to support the request for a new trial. It is anticipated that the city will appeal the decision.”According to Grobaty, Zanone had received positive evaluations as a patrol officer for the first few years that she worked for the department. By 2000 she had taken a position as a sex crimes detective in Santa Fe Springs – an area patrolled by the Whittier Police Department through a contract between the two cities.Later that year Zanone filed a complaint of gender harassment to an independent investigator. In 2002, Zanone was reassigned to patrol, which she considered a demotion, according to Grobaty.Zanone claimed in her suit that she began receiving hang-up phone calls and threatening pages from other officers after she filed her discrimination complaint.Police Chief David Singer, who was unavailable for comment, testified at the trial that he could not find any evidence of wrongdoing by Zanone’s superiors or fellow officers. [email protected](562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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