Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis to Pay Nearly $800K in Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Involving Police Sergeant

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis to Pay Nearly $800K in Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Involving Police Sergeant

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS * City police Sgt. David Bonenberger, who won a racial discrimination case over a lost assignment, is about to be paid the $620,000 he won about two years ago in a federal lawsuit, plus $172,000 in attorney's fees.

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has refused to reconsider the case, leaving the city without further appeals.

Bonenberger, who is white, sued in 2012, claiming he was passed over for assistant director at the police academy. The suit alleged that Lt. Michael Muxo, then the director, told Bonenberger not to bother to apply because the job was going to a black woman under orders from Lt. Col. Reggie Harris, who also is black.

In 2013, an all-white jury awarded $200,000 in actual damages against all of the defendants for intentional race discrimination and $420,000 in punitive damages. The punitive damages were $100,000 against Muxo, $300,000 against Harris and $20,000 against then- Chief Dan Isom.

Bonenberger's attorney, Lynette Petruska, said she believes the city will pay all the judgments.

Harris and Muxo were found to have conspired to commit discrimination. Isom and Harris have since retired.

Eight months after the verdict, U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry ordered Muxo, Harris and the current chief, Sam Dotson, to undergo anti-discrimination training of at least one three-hour session in 2014, 2015 and 2016. …

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