LOS ANGELES (JTA) – The Jewish sheriff’s deputy who arrested actor Mel Gibson can sue after allegedly being passed over for promotion over the incident, a judge ruled.
The deputy, James Mee, filed a lawsuit last year against his employer, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, claiming he had been repeatedly passed him over for promotion and endured harassment for reporting Gibson’s anti-Semitic rant during the 2006 arrest for drunk driving. Sheriff Lee Baca’s office asked that the suit be dismissed. But on Feb. 22 a judge refused to do so and the trial is now set for September.
More than four years ago, when Gibson was stopped in Malibu on suspicion of driving under the influence, he asked Mee, “Are you a Jew?”, and then said that “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Mee included these remarks in his initial report but said his superiors told him to put the slurs in a separate report, locked away from public scrutiny. The deputy, who still works for the sheriff’s office, agreed to the separate report, but a Hollywood celebrity website quickly made its content public.
Mee was suspected of leaking the report “because he is Jewish,” said his attorney, Yael Trock. A sheriff’s spokesman denied Mee’s allegations of retaliation and ethnic discrimination.