Jackass In A Robe

$600,000 Verdict in Retaliation Case

Since grade-school we've all been taught to see the world in two shades -- The police are the good guys, and they fight the bad guys.  What happens when the good guys start breaking the law? What happens when a police officer tries exposing corruption within the police department?  What happens when a local police officer helps the FBI and the United States Attorney's office?

That's simple -- He's tossed out.  There's no greater crime than crossing the thin blue line.  Didn't this guy learn anything at the police academy?  Yesterday, however, a jury countered, "Thin blue line?  What about the First Amendment?"

A former Hartford police detective who claimed that he was fired because he helped blow the whistle on police corruption in Hartford won nearly $600,000 in punitive and compensatory damages Wednesday from a federal jury in Bridgeport.

The jury, which deliberated for more than 11 hours in U.S. District Court, found that the city of Hartford, former Hartford Police Chief Joseph F. Croughwell and former Lt. David Kenary should be held financially liable for retaliating against Nicholas Russo after they found out that the detective had offered his help in a federal probe against the police department.

The story gets better.  Norm Pattis was the lead trial lawyer.  Although Norm has a reputation for his skills in winning excessive force cases, he also frequently represents police officers who have been harmed for doing nothing more than tell the truth.  And he has another win.  Congratulations, Norm!