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Sexual Harassment

By Maria Hsin, | March 9, 2012
The attorney for a former Burbank deputy police chief who claims he was fired because he complained about internal issues questioned the validity Thursday of an outside investigator's report that played a role in his client's termination. The former deputy, William Taylor, alleges that he was demoted and then fired in retaliation for expressing concerns about racial discrimination and sexual harassment. His lawsuit, which was being heard this week, is the first of several filed after the Porto's Bakery and Cafe robbery in 2007 to go before a jury.
October 11, 2003
Jackson Bell A former Burbank city employee was subjected to workplace harassment and overlooked for job opportunities because of her age and gender, her attorney said Friday in his opening statements of the woman's trial against the city. Deborah McMurray, a 57-year-old revenue clerk, alleges that she was discriminated against and subjected to a hostile work environment when she complained, her attorney Brad Gage said. She worked for the city's Park, Recreation and Community Services Department.
April 15, 2000
Amber Willard BURBANK -- A female Burbank police officer will appeal a judge's decision to dismiss her claims of gender discrimination and harassment against the city and a superior officer, her attorney said. "I'm shocked, surprised is not even the word," said Greg Smith, attorney for Melinda Wolfe, of what he thought of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Czuleger's decision. The suit, filed July 21, claimed Wolfe was unfairly passed over for assignment to a select squad and was humiliated by Lt. David Gabriel, then a sergeant, when he ordered her to repeat a training course she had passed.
April 14, 2013
Cleaning up a mess left behind by predecessor is difficult under any circumstances, but it's especially challenging when members of the department you're overseeing don't always have your back. The city's new police chief, Scott LaChasse, held in limbo as interim chief for the past three years, has performed admirably, despite naysayers within the Burbank Police Officers Assn. LaChasse, who previously enjoyed a 30-year career with the Los Angeles Police Department, was recruited in January 2010 to help stabilize the Burbank force, disgraced by allegations of excessive force, discrimination and sexual harassment.
By Maria Hsin, | April 6, 2012
A jury on Thursday awarded an Armenian American police detective $150,000 for claims that he faced on-the-job discrimination and harassment because of his ethnicity, his attorney said. The detective who filed the lawsuit, Steve Karagiosian, testified in Los Angeles County Superior Court that detectives and sergeants in the Police Department regularly used derogatory terms - such as “towel heads” - in referring to Armenians. The decision comes two weeks after a jury awarded former Burbank Police Deputy Chief William Taylor nearly $1.3 million based on claims that he was fired in retaliation for refusing to sign off on the terminations of minority officers, and for raising concerns about how a sexual harassment incident was being handled.
November 21, 2001
Ryan Carter BURBANK -- Burbank officials are hoping that two discrimination lawsuits pending against the city will go the way of a case that was dismissed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Judge Madeleine Flier upheld the city's motion Tuesday to dismiss the discrimination suit filed by Marie Galvez, Lawrence Lee Wagenbach and Swen Williams, after the plaintiffs failed to produce an amended complaint, authorities said. The trio alleged in their lawsuit, which was filed in May, that while they were employed in the city's Public Services Department last year, they endured racial and age discrimination by Assistant General Manager Richard Corbi while suffering retaliation and wrongful termination for making internal complaints.
By Rachel Kane | December 15, 2007
BURBANK — Proceedings for a sexual harassment suit filed in June against the Burbank Unified School District will continue despite the district’s attempt to have the case thrown out, according to court documents filed Monday. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne O’Donnell denied the district’s request for the suit to be stricken. In response to the sexual harassment suit filed by district secretary Danielle Baez against the district and director of facilities Craig Jellison in June, the district’s attorney, Nancy P. Doumanian, filed a motion in late September in Los Angeles County Superior Court to strike the complaint, calling it frivolous.
By Gretchen Meier, | August 11, 2010
Mercury Air Centers has agreed to pay seven Burbank employees and other members of a class-action lawsuit $600,000 to settle claims that they experienced racial discrimination and sexual harassment. Atlantic Services Inc. — which purchased Mercury Air Centers at Bob Hope Airport after the lawsuit was filed in 2008 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — also agreed to a two-year consent decree that calls for the appointment of a workplace oversight officer.
By Rachel Kane | January 26, 2008
LOS ANGELES — A sexual harassment suit against the Burbank Unified School District and its senior director of facilities, Craig Jellison, will continue as stipulated in an appellate court ruling earlier this month despite a second attempt by the district to stop the proceedings, officials said. District secretary Danielle Baez filed suit against the district and Jellison in June alleging that Jellison repeatedly sent her sexually explicit e-mails beginning in December 2005 and that he sexually assaulted her in the district’s facilities building in July 2006, locking her in his office and making unwanted advances.
April 10, 2013
Scott LaChasse -- Burbank's interim police chief who was brought on three years ago to reform a department plagued with allegations of excessive force, discrimination and sexual harassment -- has been appointed to the position permanently, effective immediately, officials announced Wednesday. During his tenure in Burbank, LaChasse has instituted several reforms to the police department, “offering stability” through reorganization, strengthening internal affairs investigation procedures, improving officer training and creating contemporary use of force policies and review procedures, Interim City Manager Ken Pulskamp, who made the decision, said in a statement.
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