Jury Blamed Cathy Lanier for Whistleblowers’ Dismissals
City Desk reported the other day on a verdict that the Fraternal Order of Police says proves Metropolitan Police Department officials—including now-Chief Cathy Lanier—punished a whistleblower a few years back.
A look at the jury form for the case appears to show that though the jury concluded that whistleblowing was a contributing factor in the discipline endured by all three plaintiffs, only former cop Sean McLaughlin's punishment couldn't have occurred for "independent reasons" other than spilling the beans. Which kind of sounds more like equivocation than exoneration. As for whether Lanier was found personally responsible for the retaliatory discipline, it looks as though that's what the jury thought. The jury had seven other police administrators they could have laid blame with (including former Chief Charles Ramsey) instead of, or in addition to, Lanier—but chose only her.
Since they found that she violated the District's whistleblower laws, she could be removed from her post. Though that would seem unlikely. MPD has several legal options it can pursue to get the verdict overturned.