May 20, 2019

City of Beverly Hills Agrees to $2.3 Million Settlement Over Police Chief’s Alleged Anti-Semitic Comments

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The city of Beverly Hills agreed to a $2.3 million settlement on Nov. 30 in response to a settlement alleging anti-Semitic comments from the Beverly Hills police chief.

The police chief, Sandra Spagnoli, was accused by at least 21 current and former employees of racist and anti-Semitic remarks, including allegedly referring to kippahs as “funny hats” and asked if she had to “dress Mexican” when she was invited to a Latino employee’s house. Capt. Mark Rosen, who filed the lawsuit, alleged that Spagnoli prevented him from obtaining promotions due to his Jewish faith.

The lawsuit also alleges that Spagnoli engaged in sexual intercourse with her employees and gave them promotions as a result.

Spagnoli has dismissed the allegations as nothing more than smears from aggrieved employees.

“When you implement change, you create some waves within an organization, which is what has happened here,” Spagnoli told the Los Angeles Times.

Beverly Hills Mayor Julian Gold is standing with Spagnoli, stating that he thought that the complaints were a matter of simply taking Spagnoli’s comments the wrong way.

“We have 11 elected officials — five on the school board, five on the City Council and the city treasurer,” Gold told the Los Angeles Times. “They are all Jewish. The notion she made anti-Semitic comments in that sort of environment does not make any sense.”

However, attorney Brad Gage, who represents numerous people behind the allegations in the lawsuit, argued to the Times that the fact that the city’s insurance company advised them to pay the hefty settlement shows that the lawsuit has merit.

Rosen, who retired the day the settlement was announced, told reporters that while he was happy about the settlement, he’s worried about “the officers and civilians alike who continue to be victimized” under Spagnoli.

Spagnoli had previously served as the police chief of San Leandro and Benicia.