Glendale officials will pay $550,000 to a former police lieutenant Ludmilla Abrahamian, an ethnic Armenian, as a settlement for a lawsuit filed against the city that alleged she was denied a promotion because of her race and gender, Glendale News-Press reports.
Filed in May 2016, the suit claimed bias during the promotion process for a captain’s position at the Glendale Police Department. The suit alleged the bias came at the behest of then-Chief Robert Castro.
Ann Maurer, chief assistant city attorney, said in an email the settlement is “not an acknowledgment of any wrongdoing by the city or its employees.”
“The city’s position has and continues to be that the allegations of discrimination and retaliation are unfounded,” she said.
According to the settlement agreement, the $550,000 payment was broken down into $66,000 for lost wages, $264,000 for alleged emotional distress or physical sickness and $220,000 for attorney’s fees. Abrahamian also agreed to retire from the department, which occurred last month.
Her suit claimed that she was the most qualified of six applicants who applied for an open captain’s position at the department in December 2015. According to the suit, Abrahamian discovered that the panel of experts responsible for evaluating the candidates was specifically picked by Castro and instructed by him on how to rank the candidates.
The suit alleged that Castro “made clear to the interviewers that he did not want a female or minority to be ranked in the top three positions.”