Attorneys to outline Scottsdale discrimination suit - East Valley Tribune: News

Attorneys to outline Scottsdale discrimination suit

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Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 10:26 pm | Updated: 6:09 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Attorneys for a Scottsdale police fingerprint technician and the city are scheduled to outline their cases in a reverse discrimination suit today in U.S. District Court.

Fingerprint technician Steven Anderson, who is white, contends in the suit that the police department gives preferential treatment to Hispanic employees, including administrative services director Helen Gandara-Zavala.

The city denies the claim.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary Murguia is scheduled to consider arguments for summary judgment on the matter. Her options are to allow the case to proceed, dismiss parts of it, or dismiss it entirely.

Murguia is expected to issue a ruling within weeks or months.

The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Sandra Day O'Connor Courthouse, 401 W. Washington St., Phoenix.

Anderson named the city, former police Chief Doug Bartosh, Gandara-Zavala, and other police officials as defendants in the suit that was filed April 30, 2001.

Anderson claims that another Scottsdale police fingerprint technician, Lupe Gutierrez, who is Hispanic, harassed him because of his race for more than a year.

He also contends that police executives protected Gutierrez, but demoted him and transferred him to a different unit in 2000.

Anderson’s attorney, Michael Pruitt, declined comment about the case.

Scottsdale assistant city attorney Sherry Scott, who is handling the case for the city, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The police department filed a formal complaint of misconduct against Anderson late last year for his possible role in providing the Tribune a copy of a signed admission of past illegal drug use by Gandara-Zavala.

Pruitt previously stated in a letter to Scott that there is “absolutely no evidence” Anderson had any involvement in the matter and that the city was retaliating against Anderson because of the lawsuit.

Scott responded at the time that Pruitt’s letter was “replete with inaccurate and false statements.”

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