When a federal jury in a retaliation case hands a $1.5 million verdict to a Phoenix police sergeant, the case gets my attention. The April 10, 2019, verdict made headlines in the Arizona Republic, where the lawyer for Sergeant Jeffrey Green extolled the “big and worthwhile victory.”
Green has worked for the Phoenix Police Department since 1994, and he is still working there. He first made his retaliation complaint in 2012, and he kept his job during an investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), then through all the pretrial discovery (i.e., fact-finding) and motion practice available in federal court, and finally through a six-day trial. The eye-popping verdict and Green’s persistence in pressing his claim while still on the job were both highly unusual circumstances. Intrigued, I dug into the public court file.