By Mary O’KEEFE
On July 9, 30 Glendale city employees were dismissed from a lawsuit filed by current and former Glendale police officers against the city and police department. The lawsuit alleges harassment and discrimination.
In late January Vahak Mardikian, Tigran Topadzhikyan, Robert Parseghian, John Balian and Benny Simonzad filed a discrimination suit against the GPD. The officers allege they were not only treated differently due to their ethnic backgrounds but that they had observed Armenians within the community given differential treatment by the GPD as well.
With the help of their lawyer, Carney Shegerian, the group of officers, comprised of four active police and one former member of the police force, sued not only the department but also 36 GPD individual employees.
District Judge Christina A. Snyder issued the ruling on a motion to dismiss that was filed by the city on behalf of the department and the individual employees.
“This ruling comes very early in the defense of this lawsuit,” said Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa in a department release.
“While the lawsuit is not over, the judge has substantially narrowed its scope and reduced the number of defendants. We will vigorously defend against the remaining allegations, which we believe are baseless.
“The City and the Police Department are committed to a work place that is free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation and we care deeply about fair treatment of our employees and the community,” De Pompa continued.
“The Department has worked diligently to create a workforce which reflects the diversity of our community and we are proud of what we have achieved to date.”
As a result of the court’s ruling, the scope of the plaintiffs’ claims have been limited and one cause of action dismissed completely, according to a statement released by the GPD.
Shegerian could not be reached as of press time.
Geghard Arakelian contributed to this story