Jury Awards $8.1 Million to L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Harassed After Reporting Misconduct

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L.A. County sheriff's deputies are seen in an undated file photo. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

L.A. County sheriff’s deputies are seen in an undated file photo. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

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As a trainee, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Rodriguez said he had a recurring thought while on patrol with his training officer: Oh, man, we’re going to end up in federal prison.

The officer, he said, instructed him to lie on a report documenting the arrest of a man found with a meth pipe. She’d routinely harass people in motel parking lots for no reason, he said, and those who slept along shopping center walkways.

Rodriguez alleged he suffered retaliation and harassment while assigned to the Industry station — which at the time was led by Undersheriff Tim Murakami, now the Sheriff’s Department’s No. 2 official — after he complained about the misconduct. He alleged that Murakami told him he’d “find something” to get Rodriguez fired.

Sheriff’s officials denied the allegations, but on Friday, a jury in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom sided with Rodriguez, awarding him $8.1 million and concluding that he faced “severe and pervasive” harassment after protesting illegal orders.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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