Gay cop gets settlement, will stay on job

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Screen capture of KDSK's video report.

CLAYTON, Mo. — A St. Louis County cop who sued the department is getting his settlement, and staying on the job.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Lt. Keith Wildhaber got a $10.25 million settlement from the St. Louis County Police Department and a new job as commander of the diversity and inclusion unit.

A jury had awarded Wildhaber $19 million last October.

“I’ve got 26 years in. I want to finish my career on my terms,” he told the newspaper.

Wildhaber had filed a discrimination lawsuit against the department saying the agency had repeatedly passed him over because he is gay. He was reportedly told to “tone down his gayness” if he wanted a promotion.

From the Post-Dispatch:

“It’s a lot of money, more money than I ever thought I would have,” Wildhaber said. His salary is $87,152. He said he was happy with his house in south St. Louis County and didn’t need a new car. “I’m going to invest wisely and make sure my family is taken care of.”

The settlement was finalized hours after Jon Belmar announced his retirement as county police chief. On Wednesday, the Board of Police Commissioners convened and excluded the public from a three-hour discussion. Later, it released a schedule for a series of forums to gather public input on how to select Belmar’s successor.

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