Verdugo Supporters Urged to Write to Hollywood City Commissioners

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

The Law Offices of George Castrataro and Mikey Verdugo held a rally in support of passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act ( ENDA ) on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 SPIRIT DAY – at The City of Hollywood/City Hall.

Supporters were urged to use this link to send letters to the

City Commissioners to voice their concerns about this vital issue.

See George and Mikey speaking on YouTube videos here, courtesy of supporter Shawn Steele:

Dean Trantalis invites the group to enter the Commission meeting:

Posted on Thursday, 10.21.10


Fired officer protests

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, [email protected]

Michael Verdugo, the police officer fired for appearing in a 1996 porn film, led a protest of about 20 gay-rights activists Wednesday at Hollywood City Hall.

"I'm still trying to get the message out there," said Verdugo, who hopes to get his old job back when the labor case goes to Broward court on Nov. 30. "Discrimination in the workplace is another form of bullying — an adult version."

Matthew Salimbene, a Nova Southeastern University law student who works for Inter-American Center for Human Rights, joined the protesters.

"It was shocking what happened, to see this kind of discrimination happening in your community," Salimbene said.

Hollywood has maintained it did not discriminate against Verdugo when the police department fired him in January 2009. The city claimed it fired Verdugo for not disclosing previous employment: a 15-minute bondage scene he filmed 14 years ago for a gay porn flick called Rope Rituals.

Hialeah-born Verdugo, 36, has said it never occurred to him to put the movie on his résumé when he became a Lauderhill cop in 1999 or when he applied to the Hollywood department two years later.

Hollywood Police fired Verdugo after gossip about the Rope Rituals video went viral on the Internet. At the time, Verdugo was a contestant known as Mikey V on HGTV's Design Star reality program in which 12 home designers compete for their own TV show.