LOS ANGELES (CN) – The Jewish sheriff’s deputy who arrested Mel Gibson on a DUI charge that set off Gibson’s anti-Semitic, obscene rant claims his bosses ordered him to “delete the anti-Semitic slurs that were made by Gibson” from his report, because Gibson was a “spokesperson for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department” and “a close friend of Sheriff Baca.” When the unedited report was leaked to the media, James Mee says, L.A. County retaliated against him for years, also with anti-Semitic animus.
Mee sued the County of Los Angeles on Tuesday in a 26-page Superior Court complaint. Mee says L.A. County hired him as a sheriff’s deputy in May 1989. He says the county knew and knows that he is Jewish. Mee was working out of the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station – Malibu, when he “arrested Mel Gibson for driving under the influence of alcohol,” on July 28, 2006, according to the complaint.
During the arrest, “Mr. Gibson shouted numerous anti-Semitic remarks, asked plaintiff if he was ‘a fucking Jew,’ shouted ‘the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world!’, and threatened to cause plaintiff trouble at his work with the Los Angeles Sheriff Department,” the complaint states.
It adds: “At or around the time of his arrest, Mr. Gibson was a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Star Organization, which is an organization run by, supported and administered, by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and defendant County of Los Angeles. Mr. Gibson had previously filmed a public service announcement for Sheriff [Lee] Baca’s Relief Committee dressed in Los Angeles Sheriff uniform, and standing by a Sheriff’s patrol vehicle. Additionally, Mr. Gibson was a close friend of Sheriff Baca, and had close associations with the top administration personnel of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Mr. Gibson and plaintiff’s supervisor Sergeant Finch were also members of the same church.”
Mee says he wrote up the arrest report and submitted it “in the early morning hours of July 29.” He says it “described the specific inflammatory and discriminatory religious slurs made by Mel Gibson against Jews and against Deputy James Mee for being Jewish.”
Mee says his Watch Cmdr. Lt. Crystal Miranda and Watch Sgt. Kevin Finch ordered him “to delete the anti-Semitic slurs that were made by Mr. Gibson, and in addition, to write a Supplemental Report that would describe the anti-Semitic slurs, which would then be marked ‘confidential’ and sealed in a safe. Believing that the anti-Semitic slurs clearly revealed religious discrimination by a known spokesperson for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, as well as show the level of toxicity of Mr. Gibson, plaintiff protested to erasing the anti-Semitic slurs from his report.”
But Mee says Miranda and Finch gave me a “direct order” to delete the anti-Semitic slurs from the arrest report, “effectively participating in covering up the anti-Semitic posture of Mr. Gibson by sealing the description of the discriminatory remarks secretive in a safe.”
Mee says that the direct order in itself was discriminatory to him, as he is Jewish.
“Some time around the arrest of Mel Gibson,” Mee says, 4 pages of his initial arrest report were leaked to Harvey Levin, and the TMZ website, and published as “Gibson’s Anti-Semitic Tirade – Alleged Cover Up.”
“From early on, Mr. Levin denied that his source was plaintiff, and there was no evidence whatsoever that plaintiff was the person who leaked said pages,” Mee says.
Nonetheless, Mee says, the publication of details of Gibson’s rant brought years of retaliation against Mee, and he says much of this retaliation and discrimination is because he is Jewish.
He claims L.A. County and the sheriff’s office investigated him for 4 years on the bogus charges, transferred him away from the desirable Malibu beat, denied him promotions, denied him due process, wrongfully suspended him, and went so far as to serve him with a warrant to investigate his bank accounts and his personal home computer. None of it turned up anything incriminating, Mee says, but it all is evidence of religious discrimination and retaliation.
Mee claims the County also “affirmatively solicited a citizen’s complaint against plaintiff from Lisa Kellogg, who had a personal relationship with Sheriff Baca and Mel Gibson, but was not present during the alleged incident described in the citizen’s complaint.” He claims that this put-up job “was motivated in whole or in part by his religion and his report of anti-Semitic remarks by defendants’ spokesperson.”
Mee seeks punitive damages for discrimination, retaliation and hostile work environment. He is represented by Etan Lorant.
The only defendants named are Los Angeles County and Does 1 through 50.