UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi On Witness List In Gay Officer’s Court Trial Against UC Davis Police Department
Sacramento, CA – UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi and former UC Davis Police Lieutenant John Pike are among those on the witness list in gay officer’s discrimination lawsuit against UC Davis after a recent court ruling.
On October 4, 2012, a Sacramento Superior Court Judge denied UC Davis’ sixth attempt to dismiss the lawsuit filed by former UC Davis Police Officer Calvin Chang. In denying the University’s 361 page “Motion for Summary Judgment,” Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang ruled that there is sufficient evidence for a jury trial to proceed. The civil jury trial is scheduled to begin on November 5, 2012 in Sacramento Superior Court.
Calvin Chang, the first openly gay police officer to serve in the UC Davis Police Department, filed his discrimination lawsuit in 2009, alleging that while serving in the UCDPD he was subjected to homophobic slurs and other harassment. Chang alleges that after the UCDPD discovered his sexual orientation, his supervisor, referred to him as a “fucking fag.”
When Chang, a UC Davis alumnus, joined the UC Davis police force in 2002, he was also the only Asian-American officer. During his first year on the force, he alleges that his supervisor broadcasted an anti-Asian racial slur over the police radio directed at him. Chang’s employment was then terminated – allegedly for performance reasons.
In response to an investigation by the CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing and a complaint filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the University reinstated Chang, later citing an issue of “some confusion.”
Chang also alleges that following his reinstatement, he reported continuing harassment and a death threat to the University. However, Police Chief Annette Spicuzza concluded that she “could not identify” which officer wrote the threat, even though the threat was written in the officers own handwriting. Chang alleges that in response to his discrimination complaint, Spicuzza stated to him, “Why don’t you leave?” Chang also alleges that he also reported the retaliation to former UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef, who did nothing to stop it.
Within weeks after Chang resigned in 2008, as part of monetary settlement agreement, UC Davis further retaliated by threatening take his home located in Aggie Village on the UC Davis campus. Chang alleges that after his resignation, Police Chief Annette Spicuzza maliciously contacted the University’s Real Estate Services to notify them that he was no longer employed. UC Davis then tried to evict Chang and “elected” to purchase his residence.
As a result of a second complaint Chang filed with the CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing, UC Davis agreed that it would cease any further attempts to evict Chang. In a letter responding to Chang’s complaint, Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef described the University’s eviction attempt as “a result of administrative error” and that there was no “evidence that these actions were intended to be retaliatory.” Vanderhoef is also scheduled to testify in the upcoming trial.
Chang’s lawsuit seeks a reinstatement to his position as a UC Davis Police Officer, and damages for the loss of his career and retirement benefits.
During the course of Chang’s discrimination complaints over his six years of employment, UC Davis never conducted any internal affairs investigation nor imposed discipline against any officer for any of the homophobic harassment and retaliation committed against him. Instead UC Davis has employed five different law firms to defend against Chang’s complaints.
Chang is represented by Hollywood Civil Rights Attorneys Anthony Luti and Dennis P. Wilson.