Echo Park’s Senior Lead Officer Robert “Bobby” Hill has settled a harassment lawsuit against the city for nearly $4 million. News of the settlement was included in an L.A. Times story today on the millions of dollars the city is paying out to settle workplace lawsuits filed by police officers. Los Angeles Police Department officers have filed suit against the department more than 250 times between 2005 through 2010, and a survey of large police departments “indicates that LAPD officers file suit more than others,” according to the Times. Hill has remained on the job as a Senior Lead Officer for Echo Park, Elysian Heights and Elysian Valley since 2008 when a jury awarded him $3.1 million. The lawsuit stems from Hill’s years as an officer in the Newton Division, where he said he came under retaliation and harassment after reporting that a superior officer had used racial slurs and embezzled funds. Hill told the Times he had no choice but to file suit against the city:
For Hill, who said the retaliation against him included being followed by other officers, falsely accused of misconduct and removed from a coveted assignment, knowing the large verdict he won came from taxpayers left him with mixed feelings.
“Here I was a public servant suing the city, basically suing the taxpayers who I was committed to protecting,” Hill said. “What I really wanted was for the names of the people who had harmed me to be on that lawsuit. I wanted the money to come out of their pockets. I felt bad that the wrong people were paying, but it was the only recourse I had as an officer.”
Hill, who now works at the Northeast Division, has been on leave for several weeks, according to several residents.