LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A judge dismissed a lawsuit today filed by a Los Angeles police detective who was arrested on shoplifting allegations and fired even though the charge was later dropped by Orange County prosecutors.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin said plaintiff Marjan Mobasser did not show she lost her job because of pretexual reasons or for any unlawful purposes.
Deputy City Attorney Christopher Cadena, noting that Mobasser was assigned to investigate theft, argued the city fired her for legitimate reasons.
“I don't know what the city is supposed to do with a theft detective arrested for theft,'' Cadena said.
Mobasser's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, filed in February 2019, alleged disability discrimination. Her attorney, John L. Norman, argued the city had a motive to fire her because she had undergone back surgery and the Los Angeles Police Department feared it would be costly if she suffered future injuries.
“Only one flaw in her career should not be life-changing,'' Norman argued. “I think she should be given another chance to go back to work.''
Norman also says Mobasser denied stealing anything.
“She claims all along that she didn't do this,'' Norman told the judge.
Norman said after the hearing that Mobasser may decide to appeal Fruin's ruling.
Mobasser, born in Iran and raised in London, was a 22-year LAPD veteran who had been a detective since 1995. She had multiple commendations, Norman said.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department arrested Mobasser for alleged shoplifting at a Kohl's store in July 2017, the suit stated.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office charged Mobasser with shoplifting, but later dropped the count, her suit says. Nonetheless, the LAPD began an internal investigation, alleging that she didn't identify herself as a member of the LAPD while she was detained, that she altered her driver license and that she didn't tell an LAPD supervisor about her arrest, according to the suit.
Mobasser alleged the LAPD investigation was flawed because employees of the Kohl's store where the alleged incident occurred were not interviewed, nor was video surveillance viewed from a second Kohl's store that could have been beneficial to her case.
An LAPD Board of Rights hearing began in June 2018, and the hearing officers “relied on misleading and inaccurate information'' from the arresting deputy in finding her guilty of theft, the suit stated.
Mobasser was ordered to speak to a psychologist and she eventually had nine sessions with two different psychologists, the suit stated. Mobasser alleges that one of the psychologists falsely concluded that she had post-traumatic stress disorder and that the other wrongly concluded that she could “potentially be suicidal.''
The Board of Rights panel recommended that Mobasser be fired, but she chose to retire before the chief signed and made her termination official, the suit stated.
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