Bruce Boland; Gay Deputy Sued Sheriff’s Department
Bruce Boland, 48, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was the first gay officer to sue that agency for discrimination. A native of Chicago who was educated at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich., Boland became a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff in 1984 and was assigned to the West Hollywood station. He was fired in 1991 allegedly because he falsified a 1989 report of the arrest of a man for possession of drug paraphernalia. Boland was charged with felony preparation of false evidence, but a judge dismissed the criminal case in 1992. By then, the Sheriff’s Department had reinstated Boland, citing new information in his case. He sued the department for $90 million, claiming he was harassed and fired because of his sexual orientation, an accusation the department denied. Boland dropped his civil suit when he was given his job back in 1992. Until it ended, the Boland dispute prompted outcries of discrimination against gays and fueled calls for a private police force for the city of West Hollywood. On Aug. 19 in West Hollywood of complications of AIDS.
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