Jury awards former Freehold cop $1.8M in discrimination suit

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - A jury has awarded $1.8 million to a former New Jersey police officer who claimed he was discriminated against because of his military service.

Kenneth Hagel filed suit in 2014, claiming Sea Girt Police Chief Kevin Davenport falsely believed he was gay and stymied his promotion to sergeant because he periodically was absent from his job for training and deployment with the U.S. Navy Reserves.

Jurors in Monmouth County found the chief had engaged in anti-military and false sexual orientation discrimination. The panel awarded the 50-year-old $262,800 in compensatory damages for lost salary and benefits, $500,000 in emotional distress damages and $1 million in punitive damages.

The chief told NJ.com he could not comment. The town's administrator also declined comment on the verdict.


Information from: NJ.com, http://www.nj.com