Panel denies city of Burbank's appeal related to alleged BPD corruption case

A three-judge panel this week denied the city's appeal of a judgment that a former deputy police chief was retaliated against for reporting alleged corruption within the Burbank Police Department.

William Taylor, who joined the police department in 1984, sued the city in 2009, claiming he was demoted and subsequently fired after complaining about discrimination and sexual harassment within the department, as well as illegal attempts to fire minority officers which he refused to support.

After the trial two years ago, a jury ruled 9-to-3 in favor of Taylor, who was awarded $1.3 million in damages, as well as $852,474 in fees for attorneys and expert witnesses, and other costs.

The city appealed the decision, arguing juror misconduct based on the alleged failure of two jurors to disclose their criminal backgrounds.

The city also argued that the court erred in instructing the jury during the trial that a defense witness read trial transcripts before testifying and that it could be a factor in the witness' credibility.

However, the 2nd District Court of Appeal struck down those arguments, affirming the jury's ruling in an opinion filed Thursday.

"Certainly, Mr. Taylor feels vindicated," his attorney Doug Benedon said. "We're very pleased with the result."

As of May 1, the city has spent nearly $1.7 million litigating the case, city records show.

Senior Assistant City Atty. Joe McDougall said Thursday he was unable to comment because city officials had not yet seen the opinion.

Taylor was one of the 10 officers fired in the wake of allegations of misconduct during an investigation into a robbery at Porto's Bakery in late 2007. Specifically, the city had argued that Taylor interfered with the initial internal investigation centered around allegations of excessive force by officers.


Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

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