Los Angeles, CA —
An openly gay Los Angeles Police Department sergeant who claimed he was transferred to a lesser position in the department for being gay was awarded $1.16 million on Thursday by a jury.
"This was not a case about Ronald Crump being gay, but about the department's retaliation against him," his his attorney, Gregory Smith.
Crump, who is 39 and has worked for the LAPD for 16 years, maintained he was he was transferred from the LAPD's Media Relations in 2009 after complaining about his treatment from his boss, Lt. John Romero.
Romero allegedly described Crump as "the new Ruby minus the heels," a reference to the woman Crump replaced in the unit.
Crump also testified that Romero told him, "I was a religion major at Liberty University. Jerry Falwell would roll over in his grave if he knew I had hired you."
Mary Grady, Crump's boss with the department, testified she moved him because he did not get along with Romero.
Crump said after complaining about the negative remarks from Romero, his concerns were ignored and he was transferred to the city's Skid Row area, a move he claims cost him future opportunities.
"It was a serious dilemma for me to sue the agency that I admire and respect," Crump told the Los Angeles Times
. "But my commanding officer made poor decisions that, unchallenged, would have had a serious effect on me and other employees who are retaliated against."
reports that over the last decade, at least 16 other officers have won million-dollar-plus jury verdicts or settlements from the city in lawsuits in which they leveled accusations of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, retaliation and other workplace injustices.
The jury deliberated about a day before awarding Crump $1.16 million.