Gay Missouri cop to finish career on 'my terms' after suit

1 week 2 days 12 hours ago Thursday, February 13 2020 Feb 13, 2020 Thursday, February 13, 2020 11:18:00 AM CST February 13, 2020 in News
By: The Associated Press

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — A St. Louis County police lieutenant who was passed over for promotion 23 times said he has no plans to leave the department after he settled a discrimination lawsuit for $10.25 million.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Keith Wildhaber said Wednesday that he was happy with his new job as commander of the department’s new diversity and inclusion unit, which he was named to after jurors awarded him $20 million in October. Both sides entered into negotiation talks about the verdict, reaching a settlement this week.

“I’ve got 26 years in. I want to finish my career on my terms.”

Wildhaber, 47, said he was focused on learning how to promote diversity in the department and has no special plans for the windfall, other than to take care of family. The county agreed to pay Wildhaber $7 million within 60 days, and an additional $3.25 million by Jan. 31, 2021. After his lawyers are paid, he will clear $6.5 million.

Wildhaber said he had been out as a gay man for about half of his career. “There was a lot of time I just stayed in the closet, really for personal reasons.

“I had never even told my own family that I was gay,” he said. “My mother found out when I filed the lawsuit and it made it onto the TV. She told me ... she had woke up and she was making her coffee and she saw my picture on the TV and thought, oh my God. Something happened to him last night and they hadn’t called her yet. She said the story came on and it was a whole lot about nothing. So that was her way to tell me that she was OK ... that I was gay.”

The settlement was finalized hours after Jon Belmar announced his retirement as police chief. After the verdict, Belmar’s leadership was called into question, although County Executive Sam Page said Belmar’s retirement was not a condition of the settlement.

Wildhaber said he wishes Belmar well. He said the police force had some rebuilding to do, although not everyone in the department agreed there was a problem.

“There are some who think there weren’t any issues at all in the department, that everything was great,” he said. “And there are others … who felt marginalized.”

More News

Grid
List
SEDALIA- Police officers in Sedalia responded to a report of a man lying in the roadway near the 700 block... More >>
22 minutes ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 11:01:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Dozens of MU students gathered to raise money for cancer research Saturday. Mizzou's Relay for Life raised... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 6:41:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Police arrested three people after a Saturday afternoon robbery led to a car chase, according to a... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 5:46:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri voters legalized medical marijuana in 2018, but some lawmakers are worried about what that could... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:53:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA, MO - The Missouri Tigers hosted the Missouri Collegiate Challenge in track and field on Saturday. The Tigers finished... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:36:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in Sports
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri may have shed its unwanted image as the meth lab capital of the U.S.,... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:21:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is getting a break from winter weather this weekend and many residents are taking advantage of it.... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:21:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
REEDS SPRING, Mo. – Students in the Reeds Spring School District will begin a four-day school week next school... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:11:55 PM CST February 22, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA – Several First Ward neighborhood associations hosted a town hall forum Saturday with city council candidates to discuss housing,... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:07:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
Black LGBTQ youth are less likely to receive mental health... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 3:51:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA — In an effort to contain the novel coronavirus, the Chinese government has canceled a number of exams this... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 2:56:57 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
FAYETTEVILLE, AR - The Missouri Tigers fell to the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on Saturday, 78-68. The Tigers... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 2:25:05 PM CST February 22, 2020 in Sports
COLUMBIA— A Columbia chiropractic office hosted a seminar to educate and empower women Saturday afternoon. The event was part of... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 2:13:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
MOBERLY - Moberly police officers responded to a domestic assault at 1028 Sinnock Ave., at 2:48 a.m. Friday, February 21,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 10:45:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - "Honest" and "righteous" are just a couple of words friends used to describe Columbia City Councilman Clyde Ruffin.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 5:55:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Water & Light plans to perform water valve repairs at the intersection of North College Avenue and... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 4:57:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport with American Airlines are proposing a new daily nonstop air service to Charlotte, North Carolina... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 4:49:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Economic Development awarded $7.3 million to nonprofit's through its Neighborhood Assistance Program this week.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 4:25:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 41°
12am 40°
1am 39°
2am 39°
3am 38°