Mikey Verdugo Keeps Certification!

UNANIMOUS APPROVAL TO PRESERVE VERDUGO POLICE CERTIFICATION

Tampa, Florida- August 12, 2010 – There was unanimous approval at this morning's hearing for Hollywood, Florida police officer Michael ("Mikey") Verdugo to ratify a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Stipulation and Settlement Agreement that will preserve his police certification. The hearing, held at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom in Tampa, Florida, ended a lengthy and hard-fought battle against discrimination.

"We were confident that the ratification would affirm the settlement because it was simply the right thing to do," Verdugo's pro bono attorney George Castrataro said. He pointed to three issues in the settlement agreement:

1) "The settlement affirmed to a large extent that Mikey's conduct was not outrageous or severe as the City of Hollywood contends and ensured his license would not be revoked;

2) The settlement seriously undermined the City of Hollywood's arguments and I believe further exposed the homophobic motivations behind their dismissal of Mikey and subsequent legal battle;

3) The settlement established that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was not willing to support the City of Hollywood in their homophobic witch hunt against Mikey.

"Michael Verdugo's story is shared by countless Americans who have lost their jobs and careers simply because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. His fight is not just about one law enforcement officer, nor is it about a simple case of discrimination. Rather it is a challenge against the institutional discrimination that continues to reinforce harmful bias against the GLBT community," he added.