LOS ANGELES – As he awaits a hearing on whether he is entitled to more than $52,000 in trial legal costs stemming from his first retaliation lawsuit against his employer, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has dropped a second lawsuit he filed claiming an ongoing backlash existed.
Deputy D’Andre Lampkin joined the LASD in July 2007, was assigned to the mental evaluation team and observed a retired deputy receiving oral sex on Sept. 4, 2015, according to the first suit, which was brought in August 2017 and alleged the plaintiff began experiencing retaliation the next year, including a suspension, because he reported what he saw.
On Feb. 10, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found that although Lampkin was subjected to an adverse employment action, the county would have taken the same measures against him anyway for independent, legitimate reasons. Lampkin was not awarded damages. County attorneys maintained their client prevailed as the winner of the case and sought $95,375 in legal costs.
But Lampkin’s lawyers maintained he was the prevailing party because he won the liability issue regarding the adverse employment action, despite not being given any money. On Oct. 13, Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis concurred with the plaintiff’s attorneys and said Lampkin could submit his own trial costs bill, which they did in November for $52,045.
According to the second lawsuit Lampkin filed in November 2021 and has now been dropped, the deputy was deposed by a county attorney regarding two incidents unrelated to any matter at issue in the first litigation. On Thursday, Lampkin’s attorneys filed a request for dismissal of the second suit “with prejudice,” meaning it cannot be refiled. The court papers do not state whether a settlement was reached or if he is not pursuing the case for other reasons.
In the second suit, Lampkin maintained that before his deposition questioning he learned from individuals with authority that he was not the subject of any credible controversy or ongoing dispute. Nevertheless, in May 2020, Lampkin was assigned home based on the one of the incidents cited by the county in which he was falsely named a suspect in a criminal investigation by another law enforcement agency, the second suit stated.
In March 2021, the department suspended Lampkin for 15 days without pay related to the second incident cited by the county for “alleged failure to secure county equipment,” according to the second suit, which also stated Lampkin was falsely accused of the theft of a badge.
The county’s alleged retaliatory actions have tarnished Lampkin’s record, compromised his credibility, hurt his ability to earn income and overtime and to advance and be promoted, the second suit stated.
Attorney Nohemi Gutierrez Ferguson, on behalf of the county, argued that if the plaintiff had actually seen misconduct on the part of the retired deputy, he had an obligation to make an arrest. Instead, Lampkin did not make the accusation until the retired deputy complained that the plaintiff was discourteous to him, Ferguson said.