Two lesbian police officers will receive a $1.25 million settlement from the City of Los Angeles over allegations that they were targets for discrimination in the Los Angeles Police Department.
Officers Linda Gotham (now retired) and Lynn Whitey both filed a lawsuit against the LAPD in 2011, claiming that supervisors did nothing when they complained that 25-year department veteran Sgt. Randy Hoffmaster was harassing them about their sexual orientation, reports the Los Angeles Times. Hoffmaster reportedly used vulgar sexual language and propositioned Gotham and Whitey, who are openly gay.
Lawyer Matthew McNicholas told the Times that an LAPD inquiry resulted in Hoffmaster's resignation, and that other officers were prepared to testify on behalf of Gotham and Whitey about the discrimination they witnessed.
Upon reviewing the lawsuit, the City Attorney's office recommended that LA skip a jury trial by offering to settle with Gotham and Whitey.
Wednesday's vote isn't the first time the Los Angeles City Council has had to vote to offer settlements to wronged LAPD officers. In January, the council approved a $1.5 million settlement for Sgt. Ronald Crump, who alleged that he was ordered to transfer from the media relations department after complaining that his supervisor, Lt. John Romero, disparaged his sexuality. Romero, who is openly gay, had to also resign as part of the settlement deal.
LA Councilman Dennis Zine later complained about Crump's settlement, saying, "I don't think this is an appropriate expenditure just for some comments made to him," reports the LA Daily News. However, earlier in the legal process, Crump had offered to settle for just $100,000 if he could just be transferred to another division, notes the Daily News.