Thursday, September 16, 2010

California Deputy Sheriff Sues County For Religious Discrimination Growing Out of Mel Gibson Arrest

Last week, Los Angeles sheriff deputy James Mee filed suit in California state court charging the Sheriff's Department with religious discrimination, retaliation and harassment growing out of Mee's arrest in 2006 of actor Mel Gibson on drunk driving charges. According to the complaint (full text) in Mee v. County of Los Angeles, (L.A. Super. Ct., filed 9/7/2010), When Gibson was arrested he launched into an anti-Semitic tirade against Mee, who is Jewish. Mee was ordered by his superiors to delete reference to Gibson's anti-Semitic statements in his report, and to file them as a confidential supplemental report. However 4 pages of the original report containing the anti-Semitic statements were leaked to the celebrity website TMZ.  Mee alleges that despite the fact that a number of non-Jewish deputies had access to the original report, only he was investigated for leaking it. Mee's complaint lists a string of negative employment actions taken against him, allegedly motivated by religious discrimination. Gibson had close ties with the sheriff and the Department, and went to the same church as one of Mee's supervisors. People and Malibu Surfside News both report on Mee's filing of his lawsuit last week.