The news keeps coming of high-dollar retaliation allegations involving Michigan police departments. In May, we reported on a $350,000 judgment against the Grand Rapids police department.
Now the action shifts east to Saginaw, where a high-profile lawsuit against Saginaw Chief of Police Gerald Cliff and several city officials was a loser for both sides after a jury found the city had violated Lt. Tamie Luty’s rights, but awarded no damages.
Luty sued for sexual discrimination, retaliation and violation of her free speech and due process rights. Luty claimed Cliff demoted her twice—once for being a woman and the second time because he believed she had leaked confidential comments to the press.
Cliff accused Luty of secretly taping a conversation in 2005 in which he called members of city council “morons and idiots.” After the press published the comments, Cliff asked Luty to take a lie-detector test to confirm she was not responsible. Luty refused, and he demoted her.
In court Luty denied making the tape but admitted she had recorded a city lawyer in the course of a sexual-harassment suit against a former deputy chief, an admission that probably influenced the verdict.
Luty now is seeking payment for her attorneys’ fees, which are expected to top six figures.