Jury: St. Louis County police sergeant faced discrimination

A jury has recommended a St. Louis County police sergeant be awarded nearly $20 million after finding the department discriminated against him because he's gay

CLAYTON, Mo. -- A jury has recommended a St. Louis County police sergeant be awarded nearly $20 million after finding the department discriminated against him because he's gay.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the jury's verdict came Friday in a 2017 lawsuit brought by Sgt. Keith Wildhaber.

Wildhaber testified that he was told to "tone down his gayness" to secure a promotion to lieutenant. Wildhaber was passed over 23 times for promotion. He said he also was transferred from the Affton precinct against his wishes after filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The jury awarded Wildhaber $1.9 million in actual damages and $10 million in punitive damages on the discrimination claim. It added $999,000 in actual damages and $7 million in punitive damages for the retaliation claim.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com