Guilty plea may end officer’s discrimination case

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A police officer who betrays the public’s trust by committing a crime may automatically lose his job. And if he pleads guilty to a covered offense, a court has ruled, any complaint he had that the employer treated him unfairly by suspending him will be dismissed.

Recent case: Syracuse police officer Curtis Brown had a relationship with a 15-year-old girl. When she ran away from home, he rented a hotel room for her.

When authorities asked Brown, who is black, about the affair, he denied it. The police department suspended him, and he sued, alleging white officers hadn’t been suspended for similar conduct.

Later, he pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child. As a result, he was automatically terminated under New York state law. The court said that also meant the end of his lawsuit. (Brown v. City of Syracuse, No. 10-0529, 2nd Cir., 2012)

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