You see, Harvey’s never been promoted because many in the department think he’s gay, and discriminate against him because of that, he claims in a lawsuit filed in 2007 for unspecified damages.
In opening statements Wednesday afternoon in Santa Ana’s Central Justice Center, lawyers for both sides presented their arguments to jurors who will decide whether Harvey has suffered discrimination, and if so, how much the city will have to pay for that.
“The evidence will show there’s no right to be promoted to lieutenant or any rank in the police department,” said defense attorney Jim McDonald. “It’s a process designed to produce the most qualified candidate.”
Past reviews and recommendations from Harvey’s graders will prove that he simply isn’t suited to become a lieutenant, which carries greater responsibility, McDonald said. The defense acknowledged Harvey’s scored well in all other areas except peer reviews, and because it weighs so heavily in the promotion process, he was denied.
Yet testimony by fellow officers, which will include stories of closed-door discussion and rumors of Harvey’s sexuality, will show there’s more to the story than what you can plainly see, Harvey’s attorney, Larry Lennemann said during his opening statement.
There were times Harvey was openly called a homosexual, or when after a staff meeting someone from the back of the room shouted out Harvey should try being with women for a change, Lennemann told jurors.
Harvey said rumors of his sexuality compromised his ability to lead and jeopardized any fair, subjective review he would have by colleagues. Harvey is not gay.
Testimony will begin Friday morning.