Glendale officer alleges retaliation for reporting violations
A Glendale police officer has filed a lawsuit against the city and the police department claiming he was the victim of repeated retaliation after he reported alleged work-related health violations.
Officer John Schmidt alleges that he and another officer were exposed to “blood-borne pathogens” while on duty, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Jan. 22.
He reported the incident on Sept. 28, 2011, to the city and the police department, alleging that he believed they failed to comply with California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health regulations. That resulted “in a serious threat to their and other officers' health and safety,” according to the lawsuit.
Schmidt's complaint does not specify which Cal-OSHA regulations were allegedly violated, nor does it go into detail about his exposure to any purported pathogens.
His attorney, Marla Brown, declined to comment about the complaint.
City Atty. Michael Garcia denied the allegations and disputed “the contention that the city retaliated against the plaintiff in any manner.”
Schmidt alleges that because he reported the violations, co-workers and the defendants ostracized him, and that he was subjected to an unwarranted internal affairs investigation.
He also claims that he was denied or discouraged from applying from certain job positions, and was turned down for a special evaluation and a chance to attend Special Weapons and Tactics school.
Schmidt alleges that he was deprived of opportunities for overtime pay and was reportedly subjected to an unwarranted evaluation and denied merit pay, according to the lawsuit.
Police and city officials also allegedly made false statements, which Schmidt claims “are reasonably calculated to harm or destroy” his reputation, according to the lawsuit.
Schmidt is seeking a judgment for the anguish he suffered, healthcare expenses and loss of wages, as well as attorney fees.
-- Veronica Rocha