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Judge rejects lawsuit against L.A. police union media consultant

UnionsJustice SystemLos Angeles Police DepartmentDeutsche Bank AG
Bank executive says police kidnapped and beat him
The police union portrayed the plaintiff as a drug-abusing liar trying to shake down the LAPD
The plaintiff says the union tried to "publicly vilify" him and get him to drop his demands

For a second time, Hollywood executive turned banking executive Brian C. Mulligan has failed to persuade a judge that he was unfairly attacked by the Los Angeles police union.

A federal judge this week threw out a lawsuit Mulligan brought against Eric Rose, a media consultant for the L.A. Police Protective League, which represents rank-and-file officers in the Los Angeles Police Department. In January, the former Deutsche Bank executive had a similar suit against police union officials tossed out as well.

"I am pleased and agree with both rulings," Rose said in a statement.

The cases both centered on a secret audio recording a police officer in Glendale made of Mulligan in 2012. Mulligan admitted on the recording to using a potent type of bath salts, a synthetic drug that can cause paranoia.

Days later, Mulligan was badly injured during a confrontation with Los Angeles police officers, who said they were attempting to take him into custody. The officers said they had found Mulligan acting suspiciously in an Eagle Rock neighborhood and then later saw him "screaming and dragging a metal trash can in the street" and trying to get into other people's cars, police reports show.

When Mulligan ran from the officers, according to the LAPD's official account of the incident, they gave chase, then Mulligan snarled and pretended to scratch at the officers as if he believed his hands were claws. The officers say Mulligan then charged at them.

After the incident, Mulligan's attorney at the time gave an different account of his arrest. The officers, the attorney said, had kidnapped Mulligan, forced him to go to a motel and then beat him in a brutal, unprovoked attack when he tried to flee.

He also denied the officers' claim that Mulligan had admitted using bath salts and marijuana, and he accused the officers of lying in their arrest report to cover up the alleged abuse.

In response, the union issued a statement that portrayed Mulligan as a drug-abusing liar and accused him of trying to "shake down" the police department. The statement included a link to a website where the union had uploaded the audio recording.

Mulligan sued the league and its president, Tyler Izen, saying union officials had conspired to "publicly vilify" him and pressure him to drop his demands for millions of dollars in damages for the arrest.

U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner rebuffed that idea, ruling that Mulligan had failed to show that the release of the tape by the union had violated his rights or was otherwise illegal.

Mulligan made the same basic allegations against Rose in a separate suit. This week, Judge Stephen V. Wilson dismissed those proceedings, ruling that Rose's role had been considered in the first case and that Mulligan was not entitled to go after him a second time.

"The judge's ruling does not reflect on the merits of the case. We look forward to our day in court," said Dan Miller, one of Mulligan's current attorneys. Mulligan's legal team is appealing both rulings, Miller added.

In another proceeding, a jury in January found the officers who arrested Mulligan had not used excessive force. That decision is being appealed as well.

joel.rubin@latimes.com
Twitter: @joelrubin

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