Updated 10/02/2012 08:06 PM
Ithaca police officers testify in Miller discrimination case
Fellow officers appear in federal court Tuesday as Chris Miller's discrimination suit against the City of Ithaca continues. Miller is currently seeking $19 million in damages. Our Melissa Kakareka was in the courtroom Tuesday and has more about what the Ithaca police officers had to say.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Testimony in the courtroom continues to focus on the inner workings of the Ithaca Police Department as plaintiff Chris Miller attempts to win damages in his discrimination and retaliation suit against the city of Ithaca.
On Tuesday, Miller's attorney called five of his co-workers to the witness stand.
An incident involving a verbal fight between Miller and an African American police officer was once again revisited. But officer Jack Powers told the jury that unlike other witnesses, he was never questioned by police administration about the event.
Lieutenant Vincent Monticello testified about a promotion he sought in the late 90s, saying he was told that former Chief Lauren Signor would be promoted to Deputy Chief instead of him because she is female. Monticello also claims the administration chose to use an old eligibility list to promote Signor to Police Chief in 2004 because she had failed the 2004 exam.
The defense pointed out that those promotions were made by a police chief who is not currently involved in the case and that Signor was undergoing personal problems at the time of 2004 exam.
A different officer also said that he recently filed his own human rights complaint against the department and says although he hasn't experienced any changes in status at the department, he currently fears retaliation.
Witnesses for the plaintiff also testified that the department knew about Miller's previous employment as a Virginia cop. Miller's omission of the information was cited as a cause for Miller's termination in 2010.
Miller himself also returned to stand for re-examination by both his attorney and the defense.