Jury awards former Burbank police deputy $1.29M

A jury on Monday awarded a former Burbank deputy police chief who claimed he was fired after raising concerns about internal department issues $1.29 million, his attorney said.

William Taylor alleged in his lawsuit that he was demoted and eventually fired because he informed city officials and former Police Chief Tim Stehr about concerns of discrimination and sexual harassment, and because he pressed for an outside investigation into a burglary that allegedly took place in police headquarters.

Taylor and other witnesses also testified in a Los Angeles County Superior courtroom that the department was hostile to minorities.

The city claimed that Taylor obstructed a probe into how a 2007 robbery at Porto's Bakery was handled, and lied to investigators about his role in the management of the investigation.

Ten officers, including Taylor, were terminated in 2010, following Porto's robbery investigations.

His attorney, Gergory Smith, said a jury sided with Taylor and awarded him $1.29 million, $250,000 of it for pain and suffering.

"Bill Taylor is one of the most honest and truthful men I have met in my life,” Smith said. “I always believed his story. I have great faith in the justice system and I knew people would see that as well."

An attorney for the city did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Smith said they were considering pushing to have Taylor re-instated as deputy chief.

If that is not successful, Smith said he wants the city to allow Taylor to retire honorably and return his badge.

-- Maria Hsin, Times Community News

Twitter: @mariahsin

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