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Third Former NBPD Police Officer Claims Discrimination, Retaliation

After being passed over for a promotion at the Newport Beach Police Department shortly following the filing of a grievance related to the department’s promotional practices, now-retired officer Robert Morton has decided to fight back. He is suing over what he believes to be corruption within the police department that lead to illegal employment discrimination and retaliation.

Morton’s employment discrimination lawsuit follows at least two others already filed against Newport Beach for problems within the police department. Former Lieutenants Lt. Steve Shulman and Craig Frizzell have also filed suit against the NBPD and the City.

Robert Morton’s lawsuit claims that he was unfairly targeted because he spoke up, through the City-created grievance procedure, about illegal practices within the police department. Morton blew the whistle on double-dipping within the police department by former Chief Bob McDonnell and others through questionable side deals.

Although the City asserts no wrongdoing related to Morton’s career with the police department, Morton claims that he was harassed, discriminated or retaliated against as far back as 2005. His retirement, Morton claims, was prompted by a perceived demotion to a less coveted role within the department.

Morton’s damages as a result of the alleged employment discrimination and retaliation total at least $500,000 according to the complaint. Part of that calculation is the lost wages he did not have an opportunity to earn because of the questionable promotion practices as well as the lost benefits in retirement that would have come with making it to captain while a member of the force.

Source: The Daily Pilot, “Retired officer sues Newport Beach Police Department,” April 1, 2013

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