Keith Wildhaber, the out 22-year veteran of the St. Louis County police who was awarded $19 million in damages in October 2019 in a discrimination lawsuit against the department, has settled the case for $10.25 million.
The St. Louis Dispatch reports: “County officials said they did not know yet how much of the amount would be covered by insurance policies and how much would be borne by taxpayers. But they said it would not be paid out of revenues from the county’s Proposition P public safety tax, meaning other areas of county government will pay for the police department’s discriminatory acts.”
Wildhaber told the court he was “sickened” after being told by former St. Louis County Police Board of Commissioners member John Saracino that he needed to “tone down his gayness” if he wanted to be promoted to lieutenant, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported.
Wildhaber also said he was transferred to a precinct that tripled his commute and taken off of afternoon shifts and put on midnight shifts.
Wildhaber’s lawyers “depicted [Chief Jon] Belmar as having a penchant for promoting masculine men that dominates all promotional decisions and said that he will retaliate against anyone who questions them, as Wildhaber did by filing his lawsuit.”
Said Wildhaber: “The police department under Chief Belmar is big on high-testosterone, type A masculine personalities, and my method of policing doesn’t conform with that. This chief is very heavy on promoting the SWAT, masculine type of guys, and I wasn’t doing that.”