A federal judge this week awarded a fired Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) deputy $98,629 in new compensation after a 2013 jury found the agency repeatedly discriminated against the officer based on his receipt of the Navy Cross for U.S. Marine combat heroics that earned him a White House ceremony with President George W. Bush.
|Jack Gould/OC Weekly|
U.S. District Court Judge Jesus G. Bernal determined the additional sum for future lost wages was a fair supplement to the $496,006 the jury previously handed Scott Montoya, who is one of the first military officers to take advantage of the Uniform Servicemembers Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, a law that prohibits employers from creating hostile work environments for returning soldiers.
During the 2003 Battle of Baghdad, Montoya--who'd taken a leave of absence from OCSD to serve the nation as a Marine Scout Sniper in the wake of the 9-11 terrorist attacks--repeatedly risked his life running through enemy fire to rescue fellow wounded marines and an innocent Iraqi civilian.
But when he returned to his job as a deputy his colleagues mocked him, threatened violence, put a giant dildo and lube bottle in his locker, called him a moron, wrote false reports designed to sabotage his career, encouraged civilians to file complaints about him, gossiped endless about him like third graders, placed hidden surveillance cameras around his house and GPS on his personal vehicle, questioned his girlfriend about his sexual stamina in bed, circulated a department bulletin alleging he might be a mental case and disgracefully asserted they would not provide him backup during high-risk encounters in dangerous sections of the county.More »