A St. Louis County police sergeant who said the department passed him over for promotions because he is gay was awarded $19 million in a discrimination lawsuit on Friday. Sgt. Keith Wildhaber, who filed the lawsuit against the St. Louis County Police Department in 2017, said he was told to “tone down your gayness” if he wanted to be promoted to lieutenant, CBS affiliate KMOV-TV reports.
Wildhaber’s lawsuit details a 2014 incident during which he spoke to a member of the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners about a promotion.
John Saracino, who was on the board at the time, allegedly told Wildhaber that the command staff had a problem with his sexuality.
“If you ever want to see a white shirt [i.e. get a promotion], you should tone down your gayness.”John Saracino
Police Promotions Board
The discrimination suit went to trial last week and multiple officers, including Chief John Belmar, took the stand. On Friday, a jury awarded Wildhaber $19 million.