Pacific Grove’s city manager vowed this week to punish any city employee who harassed, intimidated or discriminated against a gay police officer who has filed a claim with the city alleging such mistreatment.
Police Sgt. Darrin Smolinski filed the claim in August saying fellow officers made jokes and ridiculed him because he is gay. Smolinski also says he was repeatedly turned down for promotions and was retaliated against by a former police chief.
“I want to get the facts,” city manager Jim Colangelo said Monday. “I want to know if these allegations are true. If they are true, there will be consequences for the people involved. We don’t tolerate this type of behavior.”
Smolinski joined the department in 1997, and the claim states his troubles began in December 1999 when parking enforcement officer Rhonda Ramey filed a complaint against then-Police Chief Scott Miller, alleging that Miller failed to discipline a supervisor who had harassed her for being “bisexual” and having an “open marriage.”
Smolinski, in the claim that does not specify the damages he is seeking, says he sat in with Ramey – identified in the complaint only as “employee X” – in a meeting with Miller in January 2000, during which Miller allegedly said Ramey would regret bringing the complaint.
Ramey sent a letter to the Hear-Old but it was not published. She later posted it on an Internet message board. In the letter, she writes:
Watch the clip from KION website, when they report Scott Miller’s response to Darrin’s accusations of harassment and Scott Miller is quoted as saying – “Sounds like a fairy tale to me”
A gay Pacific Grove police officer has filed a claim with the city after enduring what he says has been nearly 10 years of “discrimination, harassment and retaliation” by fellow officers, a former police chief and others.
In a lurid six-page claim filed in August, Sgt. Darrin Smolinski, who began working at the department in 1997, alleges he was repeatedly turned down for several promotions, including the positions of detective and commander.
Although he doesn’t identify them by name, Smolinski also accuses his coworkers of harassing him. “Smolinski has been the subject of verbal comments on the size of his genitals,” the claim outlines, “asked about association with the Rainbow Coalition and sexual orientation relative to his male roommate during public meetings on the police department premises.”