Openly gay former police officer Michael Verdugo lost an appeal before a Broward County (Florida) Circuit Court over claims he was unfairly terminated. A judge ruled “the threshold to show bias in arbitration was not met,” notes a local media report. In August, a panel with the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement unanimously ruled he should be allowed to keep his police certification. Mr. Verdugo was fired from his job with the Hollywood police department in early 2009 following the revelation that he had appeared in a 1996 all-male bondage film; at the time of his dismissal, Verdugo was a contestant on the HGTV reality-competition series Design Star (see the link below for background). Mr. Verdugo has said it didn’t occur to him to mention the 15-minute vignette when he became a police officer in 1999, nor in 2001 when he joined the Hollywood police department. He maintains he was fired due to antigay discrimination. “The courts did not rule in my favor, but after [two and a half] years of fighting, I am not giving up,” he posted to his Facebook page. “I am still a certified police officer. Now I just have to find a police dept. that cares about my job performance and not my sexual orientation.”
See also:
* “Cop Fired for Porn Past Leads Protest Rally
* “‘Porn Cop’ Verdugo Keeps Police Certification

[Right image © HGTV. News sources: South Florida Gay News and Miami Herald.]


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