COLORADO: Judge Orders State To Pay $768K To Gay Former Trooper

The Colorado State Patrol has been ordered to pay $768,268 to a former trooper who was refused reinstatement after they learned he is gay.

State Senior Administrative Law Judge Mary McClatchey said in a 25-page opinion that former State Patrol Capt. Brett Williams — who she said was highly dedicated to the patrol, where he enjoyed a “stellar career” — suffered and will continue to suffer from the patrol’s discriminatory actions against him. Williams, now 45, left the agency in early 2010 to pursue a career as a helicopter pilot, but a few months later he asked to return to the patrol. At the time he left the patrol, he was earning $96,000 annually plus benefits. During the polygraph test required as part of the reinstatement, a State Patrol sergeant asked Williams a question that forced Williams to reveal he is gay. This violated patrol rules prohibiting polygraph questions about sexual orientation. The question concerned a massage Williams confessed to receiving in Thailand that involved sexual contact. Such a massage is not illegal in Thailand.

The judge had previously ruled that the State Patrol did not have to give Williams his job back as he would likely find a “hostile work environment.”