White Police Lieutenant Wins $1.35 Million Award in “Reverse” Discrimination Suit

On May 28, 2014, an Eastern District federal jury awarded $1.35 million to white Freeport police lieutenant Christopher Barella. Here is the Judgment, memorializing the following awards:

  • $150,000 for loss of back pay,
  • $1,000,000 for loss of front pay,
  • $200,000 for punitive damages.

In his Amended Complaint, plaintiff asserted that the Village of Freeport and its former Mayor, defendant Andrew Hardwick, failed to promote the Plaintiff to the position of Chief of Police on the basis of his race/color and national origin, and that during Hardwick’s four years as Mayor, he systematically hired and promoted less qualified and less experienced African–American and Hispanic employees over more qualified and more experienced Non–Hispanic White employees.

Plaintiff’s case proceeded to a jury trial after Judge Spatt issued a decision/order on April 26, 2014 denying defendants’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s race discrimination claims.

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