OAKLAND, Calif., April 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer release the following: On Friday afternoon, April 24, 2015, the City and County of San Francisco and SFPD Chief Greg Suhr agreed to settle the lawsuit brought by Kelly O'Haire for $725,000 just as jury selection was about to begin in what would have been a three week trial on O'Haire's claims of whistleblower retaliation.
While Plaintiff Kelly O'Haire was an internal affairs attorney for the SFPD, she handled a discipline case against then Deputy Chief Greg Suhr and reported to her supervisors that she believed he had violated the law. Suhr's attorney in the matter, now Superior Court Judge James Collins, threatened O'Haire that "she didn't know how this city worked" and if Suhr became Chief it would be "an employment problem for her." After Chief Heather Fong retired, Chief George Gascon settled the Suhr case for a suspension.
Two and one half weeks after Suhr was appointed Chief by Mayor Edwin Lee, he fired Kelly O'Haire. George Gascon, now the District Attorney of San Francisco, informed Mayor Lee that O'Haire's termination was retaliatory and could be a problem for the City. Mayor Lee told Gascon that he was not going to do anything about it. The City Attorney fought hard to dismiss O'Haire's lawsuit, including filing two demurrers, a motion for summary judgment and several pretrial motions that sought to throw out O'Haire's claims on various technicalities. After all of those efforts failed, the City agreed to settle the claim.
Jayme L. Walker, counsel for Ms. O'Haire, said, "It was an honor to represent Kelly O'Haire in this case. It takes a lot of courage to speak up against the people who are now in power, but Kelly O'Haire continued to fight for what she believed in and I am very inspired by her. Whistleblowers often do not fare well when they dare to speak out. Hopefully, Kelly O'Haire's courage will change that and encourage other would be whistleblowers to do the right thing."
SOURCE The Law Firm of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer