Former LAPD Commander's Whistleblower Lawsuit Over Firing Allowed to Proceed

An LA Superior Court judge effectively reversed an earlier decision that blocked former LAPD Commander Nicole Mehringer from challenging her termination -- that she said had a lot to do with her gender.

Former LAPD Commander Nicole Mehringer

An LA Superior Court judge has allowed a lawsuit filed by former LAPD Commander Nicole Mehringer to proceed, after a previous retaliation, harassment, and discrimination case was dismissed.

The ruling means Mehringer, who initially sued after she was fired for an off-duty incident in Glendale in 2018, can proceed with an amended case that claims her termination was excessive, and was motivated by retaliation, after Mehringer filed documents that revealed several high-ranking male members of the LAPD had, "engaged in egregious acts of unlawful behavior," but unlike her, kept their jobs or were allowed to retire.

"Because they were men, the unlawful acts were never punished and [were] covered up by high ranking command staff officers," her lawsuit said.

The LA City Attorney's Office filed a request in February, a demurrer, to dismiss Mehringer's amended case, arguing that the lawsuit should not be allowed to proceed because it was filed outside the time period typically allowed.

LA Superior Court Judge Theresa M. Traber denied the demurrer May 9, finding that the updated complaint related to the same underlying facts as the original lawsuit.

The City Attorney's Office declined to comment on the judge's decision or the lawsuit, though the City does not generally discuss pending litigation.

Mehringer's attorney did not comment on the judge's decision.

Mehringer first sued after an internal LAPD administrative trial panel, called a Board of Rights, recommended her termination for the Glendale incident, in which she was found asleep in the passenger seat of her unmarked LAPD sedan on April 27, 2018 and faced a criminal charge of being drunk in public.

She later admitted to an LAPD administrative charge that accused her of being involved in a romantic relationship with a subordinate officer, but argued the punishment for the incident was excessive.

The criminal charge in the Glendale case was dropped in 2019.

According to Mehringer's lawsuit filings she was fired by Chief Michel Moore, on the recommendation of the Board of Rights, as retaliation. The new case that's been allowed to proceed says she was entitled to whistleblower protection for alleging there is disparate treatment of women by the LAPD.

"In order to put an end to the disclosures that would have embarrassed the Department, the Board in conspiracy with high-ranking LAPD officers, terminated Plaintiff to discredit her and punish her for the disclosures," Mehringer said in updated documents filed in January.

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