Missouri officer told to ‘tone down’ gayness settles suit for $10.25M

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FILE – In this Oct. 24, 2019 file photo, St. Louis County police Sgt. Keith Wildhaber returns from a lunch break to the St. Louis County courthouse on the third day of his discrimination case against the county in Clayton, Mo. St. Louis County has agreed to a $10.25 million settlement with Wildhaber, a gay police lieutenant who says he was passed over for promotion 23 times and was told to “tone down” his “gayness.” The agreement with Wildhaber was finalized Monday, Feb. 11, 2020, hours after St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar announced he is retiring, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. (Cristina M. Fletes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File)

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County, Missouri, has agreed to a $10.25 million settlement with a gay police lieutenant who says he was passed over for promotion 23 times and was told to “tone down” his “gayness.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the agreement with Keith Wildhaber was finalized Monday, hours after St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar announced he is retiring from the department after six years as chief.

Although jurors awarded Wildhaber nearly $20 million in October, each side had reason to negotiate because Wildhaber could keep a larger share of the award by settling.

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