A former Jersey Shore police officer who claimed in a lawsuit agaisnt the city that he was bullied off the force because of his sexual orientation was awarded a $369,000 settlement, according to a daft of the agreement.
Steven Pascal, self-described as “an openly gay male” and now a Philadelphia resident working as a flight attendant, had claimed he was fired three years ago because his captain didn’t want a gay man on the force, the Press of Atlantic City reported.
Pascal said he was constantly subjected to gay slurs and gay jokes in the department. When he complained about being taunted by members of the public who threatened to “snap his neck in a dark alley” in front of other officers, his superiors did nothing, he claimed.
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After he confronted a teenager who had made phony phone calls pretending to be Pascal and offering sex to other men, the teen’s parents complained to the department. Pascal was suspended for two days and ordered into therapy, the suit states.
The city and other defendants deny the allegations made by Pascal in the lawsuit, according to the draft fo the set.
Pascal was fired from the Cape May police department in 2013 after about a decade of service. A hearing officer found him responsible for failing to follow protocol while responding to a car accident.
In his suit he called the hearing a “sham” motivated by the fact that his superior, Capt. Robert Sheehan, “did not want a homosexual man on the city’s police force.”
The settlement was first reported Monday by the NJ Civil Settlements blog. Pascal will get $193,000, with the rest going to his attorney’s fees.