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Colorado State Trooper Receives $768,000 In Damages For Polygraph Outing: VIDEO

CSPIn 2010 Colorado State Trooper Brett Williams quit the CSP to become a helicopter pilot, but changed his mind a few months later and reapplied for the force. As a part of the reinstatement process, Williams was required to take a polygraph test, and one of the questions was whether a man or a woman had given him a massage on a trip in Thailand. When Williams answered honestly, he realized he had been forced out of the closet and began receiving questions about porn and child molestation.

WilliamsWilliams was ultimately denied his reinstatement.

Williams filed suit and State Personnel Judge Mary McClatchey determined that former CSP Chief James Wolfinbarger's procedure for a polygraph and full background check was a departure from the previous chief's policy. The lawsuit prompted an investigation of the culture of CSP and forced Wolfinbarger to step down from his position. McClatchey ultimately concluded that the sole purpose of the polygraph test was to deny Williams the job, which is in violation of law enforcement hiring standards. Williams was awarded over $768,000 in damages and the CSP was required to designate a command-level point-of-contact for gay Patrol members.

CSP of course denies that Williams' orientation was a reason for his rehire and will likely appeal the decision.

Judge McClatchey's full decision can be read here and the news report video can be seen AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Without question, Colorado is one of the most homophobic states in the Union at all levels and as you might expect the most Republican (a.k.a. RepubliThugs(tm) Inc. Only when incidents like this (and many similar) end up with the homophobe having the PAY REAL MONEY will be see something positive happen. Money makes everything happen, don't forget.


    Posted by: Bob | Aug 20, 2013 9:31:59 AM


  2. a little bit of justice.

    Posted by: datlaw | Aug 20, 2013 10:00:29 AM


  3. I have no sympathy for weak, closeted men. I came out in high school and it wasn't any picnic for me : my school and town pretty much shunned me and my father hates my guts.

    Posted by: Billy | Aug 20, 2013 10:04:07 AM


  4. @Bob,

    Colorado is not a hardcore Republican state. Far from it.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 20, 2013 10:10:06 AM


  5. Bob

    Colorado just passed a Civil Unions bill. We elected a Democratic governor, both our US Senators are Dems, and 3 of elected officials in the House of Representatives are Democratic. Oh, and our state senate enjoys a 57% Democratic majority -- hardly the "most republican" state in the US.

    Posted by: Sam | Aug 20, 2013 10:18:23 AM


  6. A thai male massage means you're gay?

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Aug 20, 2013 10:24:17 AM


  7. Good for him for fighting for justice.

    Posted by: Dexter | Aug 20, 2013 10:32:52 AM


  8. I know straight amd gay men who don't even ask when booking a Thai massage (even when on vacation in Thailand) what the gender of the practioner is. It doesn't indicate their sexusl orientation any more thsn the gender of the dentist who pokes around in their mouth.
    If this guy was really going to a prostitute who uses "massage" as a ruse then that would be different (but still not necessarily the business of his employer).

    Posted by: GregV | Aug 20, 2013 11:26:00 AM


  9. Colorado seems determined to outdo Flarda for red-neckery. Might be some liberals around somewhere, but then there's Colo Springs with all the "family" and gun nuts and the Air Farce Academy's evangelical thugs.

    Posted by: Onnyjay | Aug 20, 2013 11:45:00 AM


  10. Everyone please be aware, POLYGRAPH tests are not always accurate. I say this not in reference to the above story but as a result of an experience over 30 years ago when I agreed to take one for something that happened. I was 100% innocent but being a nervous teen the results were the opposite and made me look very guilty.

    Ultimately all was straightened out but I have to stress that these tests are very capable of false readings. Besides, a hardened criminal could be cool as cucumber due to his lack of true compassion.

    Posted by: Max | Aug 20, 2013 12:02:02 PM


  11. I find trips to Thailand suspicious, gay or straight. Be honest, Thailand is synonymous with young prostitutes.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 20, 2013 12:07:15 PM


  12. Bizarre case. They seemed to have evidence he went to Thailand for underage sex romps (it's technically illegal to travel overseas for the purposes of having sex with a minor, even if the sex is legal in the destination country). Then you have the classic bureaucratic policy turf battles. Then you have the also classic civil servant gets his day in court case.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 20, 2013 12:57:40 PM


  13. I don't know what to think of this story. One of my roommates is applying to be a police officer and he's taken several polygraph tests and questions of porn, child molestation and pedophilia are common in a police hiring lie detector. I don't think the state police asked him those questions because they were discriminating against him. They were just asking what is standard of police hiring procedures.

    Posted by: Charles | Aug 20, 2013 1:36:00 PM


  14. Guys travel to certain [2nd and 3rd world] places mostly for one reason. I won't bother mentioning those places except to say Thailand is among them. This is an open secret. You're a guy vacationing in [fill in the blank], you come under suspicion.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 20, 2013 2:09:47 PM


  15. If you read the decision, the case is far more nuanced. Personally, I didn't read any clear evidence in the decision that he wasn't rehired because of sexual orientation. In fact, the chief who made the decision didn't even know the complainant was gay.
    Rather, he had a "significant reaction" to a question about illegal sexual activity on the polygraph that made the chief and other troopers think he was concealing illegal sexual misconduct. Additionally, he had admitted to viewing child pornography on Xtube (he said he was 100% sure it was child pornography) and had admitted to getting a handjob from a (male) masseuse in Thailand. All of those facts combined led to the decision not to rehire the complainant. I think the anti-gay justification is a bit of a stretch.

    In general I have to say that the guy doesn't seem very likable, and seems like a bit of a coward.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 20, 2013 4:07:16 PM


  16. @Little Kiwi, I could go along with all that you said except: Where is the relevance of asking the gender of someone who gave him a hand-job if there isn't some prejudice at play in at least THAT question?
    Likewise, if they had asked, "What race was your last girlfriend?" and found out she was black and THEN thrown the book at him, I would wonder why they felt that answer had any relevance to anything.

    Posted by: GregV | Aug 20, 2013 4:36:29 PM


  17. Colorado is both one of the most hard core Republican states... and a progressive bastion in that part of the country.

    Both are really true, depending on what parts of Colorado and who in Colorado you're talking to. Thankfully it's been trending blue and the demographics are clear on which direction Colorado will continue to trend toward.

    Woot, woot.

    Posted by: Ryan | Aug 20, 2013 4:49:15 PM


  18. @Gregv, admittedly the polygraph interviewer made an oopsie, but there was no evidence in the record that the interviewer told anyone else that the complainant had said the masseuse was male. In fact, in the memos regarding the polygraph interview, the interviewing trooper merely stated that the complainant had disclosed he had received a massage in thailand with a "happy ending," and did not disclose the sex of the masseuse. The chief is the one who made the decision not to rehire, and there's no evidence that he knew the sex of the masseuse when he made that decision. Additionally, the interviewer didn't ask any follow-up questions about the complainant's sexual orientation or sexual preferences.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 20, 2013 4:57:22 PM


  19. @Gregv, admittedly the polygraph interviewer made an oopsie, but there was no evidence in the record that the interviewer told anyone else that the complainant had said the masseuse was male. In fact, in the memos regarding the polygraph interview, the interviewing trooper merely stated that the complainant had disclosed he had received a massage in thailand with a "happy ending," and did not disclose the sex of the masseuse. The chief is the one who made the decision not to rehire, and there's no evidence that he knew the sex of the masseuse when he made that decision. Additionally, the interviewer didn't ask any follow-up questions about the complainant's sexual orientation or sexual preferences.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 20, 2013 4:57:22 PM


  20. Just another femmy closeted queer trolling around with underage boys. I wouldn't have hired him either. At least he had the good sense to keep his personal life private.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 20, 2013 4:59:36 PM


  21. I'd say $768,000 is a significant amount of justice.

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | Aug 21, 2013 5:37:28 AM


  22. That video would not play for me. This one seems to be a good substitute:
    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/colorado-state-patrol-must-pay-768k-to-gay-former-trooper

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 21, 2013 5:57:27 AM


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