Press Conference Held to Rally Support for Verdugo

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Article by Tiffany Helberg

HOLLYWOOD (CBS4)

Michael Verdugo made a public plea in Wilton Manors to regain his post at the Hollywood Police Department. He claims he was let go because his sexuality.

A former Hollywood Police officer is fighting to keep his certification as an officer. The department fired Michael Verdugo after they discovered he acted in a gay porn film called Rope Rituals.

Verdugo said he doesn't regret that; it's something he did before he was a cop.

"A one day job is not a job," said Verdugo. "The film was just their way of dismissing me and getting rid of their gay officer."

Verdugo is taking the department to court to get his old job back as well as financial relief. Meanwhile, on Thursday August 12 the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will decide whether or not he should be stripped of his certification to be an officer in Florida.

Verdugo said Hollywood Police Department is urging the state to take that certification away. But the department won't confirm or deny that and refused to talk to  CBS4 News about the case.

The FDLE said staff members recommended a 30-day suspension of Verdugo's certification and a probationary period of a year, plus ethics training. But the case still has to go before the full commission on the 12th in Tampa.

"I just want my rights," said Verdugo. "I want to be able to be a cop. I want to go back. I want to go back. I want to be a cop like I was before."

See the full story here:  www.mylifeinthecity.com