More Lawsuits Filed by Beverly Hills Police Employees

The Beverly Hills Police Chief is defending herself against a growing number of lawsuits filed by department employees who've made allegations of discrimination and retaliation.

In one of at least seven pending employee cases Chief Sandra Spagnoli is accused of making insensitive remarks about a police captain's religion. In another, the chief is accused of offending two police lieutenants and a civilian communications supervisor.

The captain, lieutenants, and civilian supervisor also claim their roles in the department were lessened or marginalized, and in some cases, say they lost pay as a result.

More recently a wrongful termination lawsuit was filed by a former civilian parking enforcement supervisor who claims the Chief threatened to reopen a personnel investigation unless he retired. The city has denied the accusations in court filings.

A city spokeswoman said in a written statement the Chief could not speak to NBC4 to address the lawsuits, "because of unresolved legal and personnel issues."

The statement said Spagnoli was sworn-in two years ago as a reformer, "to implement change and contemporary policing practices."

Attorney Brad Gage, who represents some of the plaintiffs, said it's unusual to have so many people in one department making allegations against the Chief.

"You have a person that is making inappropriate comments, and then making decisions that are, in our opinions, clearly discriminatory and wrong," Gage said.

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