LOS ANGELES (CN) - A reserve LAPD officer smeared a former bank executive as a drug user to prejudice the banker's claims that two LAPD officers brutally beat him, the former banker claims in court.
Brian Mulligan sued sole defendant Eric Rose in Federal Court. He demands $20 million for civil rights violations.
In February this year, Mulligan, a former executive at Universal Pictures and Fox Television, filed a federal lawsuit against the city, Los Angeles Police Protective League, and two officers, John Miler and James Nichols.
In that lawsuit, Mulligan claimed that the LAPD knew as early as 2010 that Officer Nichols "was using the threat of arrest to extort sex from women in the Hollywood Division, where he was assigned. Nichols' assaults followed a pattern: he would approach a vulnerable victim, detain her, drive her to a secluded location, then use the power of his badge to demand sex under threat of arrest and imprisonment. Nichols did this repeatedly, over a period of years, and the LAPD knew about it."
Mulligan claimed that on May 15, 2012, Nichols "employed his modus operandi on Mulligan," but not for sex, for money.
The February complaint states: "This time Nichols used - and abused - his power for another purpose. Nichols took Mulligan against his will to the Highland Park Motel and ordered him to check in and spend the night there, knowing for a fact, because he counted it, that Mulligan had thousands of dollars in cash in his possession. It was a setup.
"Nichols told Mulligan he'd be 'dead' if he left the room. But unlike Nichols' previous victims, Mulligan didn't comply. Mulligan left the motel, and I when he did, Nichols found him and beat him within an inch of his life."
A police report obtained by CBS last year stated that when officers encountered Mulligan, then 52, he told them he had taken marijuana and a legal "bath salt" called White Lightning, which produces an effect similar to methamphetamine and cocaine.
Mulligan denies it. He claims that he was neither drunk nor under the influence of drugs, and had done nothing wrong.
Neither the District Attorney's Office nor the City Attorney filed charges against Mulligan in that case.
In his new lawsuit, Mulligan claims that Rose's "media campaign to smear a victim of police brutality" began after he filed a claim against the city in August 2012, for injuries from the alleged attack.
The story took a strange turn when it emerged that Mulligan had visited a Glendale police station only days before the alleged attack, and asked if White Lightning was legal.
The police department recorded a copy of that conversation, Mulligan says in the new lawsuit. When Rose got wind, he tried to obtain a copy, but Glendale police refused to hand it over.
So, Mulligan claims in the new lawsuit, Rose used his influence with police union president Tyler Izen and Cory Brente of the City Attorney's Police Litigation Unit to get a hold of a copy.
Officials persuaded Glendale police to deliver the recording under the pretense that it was conducting an internal use of force investigation, Mulligan claims in his new lawsuit.
Then on Oct. 12, 2012, Los Angeles Police Protective League posted a press release drafted by Rose that included an embedded recording of Mulligan's May 13 conversation at the Glendale police station, he claims.
Among other things, the union suggested in its statement that Mulligan was a "'high-powered banker'" and partly responsible for the economic crash of 2008; called him a drug addict; accused of him trying to "'shake down'" the city; urged him to apologize to Nichols and Miller; and said he should abandon his claims.
"Bath salts lead to delusion, and as in this case, bizarre lawsuits," Izen states in the release, attached as an exhibit to Mulligan's new lawsuit. "Hopefully, now that the truth is coming out, instead of continuing to spend his money on lawyers and trying to weave a fictitious tale of abuse at the hands of the LAPD, Mulligan will seek the substance abuse treatment he so badly needs."
The news release did not sit well with Deutsche Bank, Mulligan says, and it fired him in November 2012.
Mulligan claims Rose's "unconscionable" media campaign destroyed his reputation and "devastated" his life.
"Rose, the city attorney and the union president sought to, and did, use the press release and tape to publicly vilify Mulligan - calling him a drug addict who attacked the police and got the beating he deserved - in order to prejudice Mulligan's legal claims. The tape, according to the city attorney, should be used to 'sink [Mulligan's] case and his reputation.' Rose's and the others' intent was to publicly 'discredit' Mulligan. Their goal was maximum public humiliation," the lawsuit states.
Rose's attorney Steven Garber told Courthouse News: "While we have not seen the content in the alleged new lawsuit, we are generally familiar with Mr. Mulligan's Alice in Wonderland type tale set forth in his existing claim against the Los Angeles Police Protective League and its president.
"It the epitome of hypocrisy for Mr. Mulligan to attempt censorship of anyone's First Amendment right of free speech for the dissemination of Mr. Mulligan's very public truthful admission which he finds embarrassing - a tape recording of his own words admitting to frequent use of bath salts voluntarily made to a Glendale Police Officer who Mr. Mulligan sought out."
"God Bless America," Garber added in an email that included an attached motion to dismiss Mulligan's February lawsuit.
Mulligan is represented by Louis Miller of Miller Barondess.
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