Smith Patten to Represent Golden Gate Bridge Lieutenant Terminated in Retaliation for Whistleblowing

Aug 27, 2014, 15:51 ET from Smith Patten

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A former Golden Gate Bridge Lieutenant has filed a federal lawsuit in the Northern District of California, alleging the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway Transportation District and its Bridge Captain Lisa Locati terminated his employment for whistleblowing activities that resulted in the revocation of the District's firearms range and training permits.

Lieutenant Paul Linder is a 22-year veteran of the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway Transportation District which is responsible for protecting and serving the public on the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge. In the summer of 2012, he reported violations of firearms training and certifications to the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) and the California Department of Justice (CDOJ). 

The Complaint, filed August 26, alleges that Lt. Linder reported that the District had paid a retired former employee to sign off on BSIS firearms certifications for the District, even though the retired employee neither witnessed nor knew of any range qualifications. The Complaint alleges that Bridge Captain Locati misrepresented the retired employee's date of retirement to the BSIS to cover the fact that the District did not have an active Rangemaster from March 2003 until 2004.  Lt. Linder's testimony led to the revocation of the District's firearms rangemaster's permits, and the ability of the District to self-certify its officers in firearms standards compliance.

The complaint details a campaign of retaliation against Lt. Linder by the District and Bridge Captain Lisa Locati, leading to the termination of his employment on false charges.  Notably, the suicide rate on Lt. Linder's watch was the lowest recorded during a time when the overall numbers suicides and attempts were increasing dramatically.

Linder's attorney Spencer Smith stated that the Plaintiff had exemplary performance and his efforts to protect the millions of visitors and commuters that travel on the Golden Gate Bridge should have been met with reward and not punishment.  Attorney Dow W. Patten went on to state, the Golden Gate Bridge has the highest suicide rate of any structure on earth and safety of the public should be paramount to those trusted to protect the safety of the public.  The Complaint seeks unspecified damages for retaliatory termination against the District, including punitive damages against Bridge Captain Lisa Locati for maliciously violating Lt. Linder's First Amendment rights.

Smith Patten is a leading employment litigation firm in San Francisco that focuses on resolving employment discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblower issues in the workplace.


SOURCE Smith Patten