Wed, May 30, 2012
Says He Faced Retaliation After Raising Concerns Over Charity Auctions Of Helo Rides
A former police officer in Glendale, CA, will receive a $450,000 settlement from the city after he raised concerns about the auction of rides in the department's helos for charity organizations.
David Gillispie had filed a lawsuit against the city after he said he was removed from pilot duty and placed on regular patrol after he questioned a decade-long practice of allowing schools and charities to auction rides in department helicopters for a minimum $500 contribution. He said that the rides violated FAA regulations.
The LA Times reports that as part of the settlement, Gillispie's lawsuit against the city was dismissed. The city is also required to destroy and seal information relating to the matter, including flight training logs, complaint information, performance evaluations, and internal memos.
The city did not admit to any wrongdoing in relation to the auctions, but said the settlement was made to avoid risking the greater financial exposure of a jury trial.
Gillispie retired in December of last year. He reportedly had suffered a work-related back injury. He had first expressed concerns about the ride-alongs back in October 2007. The practice was ended a month later when, according to court documents, the Glendale PD wanted to merge their air unit with the Burbank Police Department, and the number of the 90 minute flights was becoming "burdensome."
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