City Loses Round One of Police Lawsuits, Jury Awards $1.29 Million

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Former Burbank Deputy Police Chief William Taylor won his unlawful termination lawsuit against the City of Burbank and was awarded $1.29 million by a jury.

After learning of the verdict, the City responded with the following statement:

After a lengthy trial, a superior court jury returned a verdict against the City of Burbank in a workplace retaliation lawsuit filed by former Deputy Police Chief William “Bill” Taylor.

From the beginning, the City believed that its actions were justified and in the best interests of the Department and City. Accordingly, the City vigorously defended this case and is disappointed with the decision.

Burbank’s City Attorney, Amy Albano, responded to the decision by stating, “Although the City is obviously disappointed with the decision, we are confident in our position and will be looking at all appropriate options about how to move forward as a result of this decision.”

The City would like to acknowledge the hard work of its legal defense team, in particular attorneys Ron Frank and Linda Savitt.

Looking toward the future, Burbank’s Mayor, Jess Talamantes, stated, “In consultation with the City’s legal team, we will continue to work for the best interest of the community. Ultimately, the City would like to successfully resolve cases like this and move forward in continuing its mission to ensure the public safety and welfare of our citizens.”

This is the first of the lawsuits to be heard filed by officers against the City of Burbank during a time in which a robbery investigation at Porto’s led to allegations of abuse of suspects in the case and then a burglary inside the police department itself was allegedly swept under the table.

Approximately 10 officers have been fired for different reasons after the incident and Taylor’s case is the first to come to a jury.  The City of Burbank has already spent millions of dollars on legal representation and investigations and have yet to release any of their findings to citizens.

A FBI and Sheriffs investigation into the department have also not either been finalized or is so, the report has not been presented to the public.

The amount of lawsuits could increase as members of the police department who were fired two years ago are still awaiting their arbitration hearing that is mandated by the City.  Because there is no provision in the Burbank Police Officers Association contract with the City on how soon after termination a hearing is required, the City has continued to stall on the hearings, leaving the former officers status uncertain.

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