Deputy Who Arrested Mel Gibson to be Fired
Sunday, July 01, 2012
James Mee, 2006 (photo: Nick Ut, AP)
Six years after Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy James Mee arrested actor Mel Gibson on a drunk driving charge, endured an anti-Semitic rant by the star, clashed with his superiors over removal of the rant from the arrest report, denied leaking the report to the press and sued the department over his treatment by superiors, the officer has been told he’ll be fired.
However, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said, “It has nothing to do whatsoever with the Mel Gibson arrest.”
Mee’s attorney, Richard A. Shinee, said the department’s official explanation is that Mee is being fired for allegedly violating department policy after a drunk driver he was pursuing slammed into a gas station in June 2011, causing a fire. Shinee also said the department was unhappy with Mee’s testimony at a civil service commission hearing on behalf of a fellow deputy who was accused of drunk driving. Mee was relieved of duty on May 15, Shinee said.
Mee, who is Jewish, noted in his original arrest report on Gibson that the actor made anti-Semitic remarks, including a statement that, “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Mee said he made the notation as evidence that Gibson was intoxicated, objected when asked by superiors to remove the comments and put them in a separate report, but eventually complied. Mee was suspected of leaking the information when it showed up on the website TMZ.com, but denied any involvement.
The department was criticized by its own Office of Independent Review for giving Gibson special treatment, including releasing him without obtaining the requisite palm print, not getting the actor to sign a statement that he would show up in court and driving him to the tow yard to get his vehicle.
Gibson is reportedly having a much better month than Mee. A number of press reports have him scheduled to appear with newly-signed Charlie Sheen in Robert Rodriguez's next movie, Machete Kills.
To Learn More:
Sheriff's Deputy Who Arrested Mel Gibson Is Being Fired (by Robert Faturechi and Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times)
Jewish Sheriff’s Deputy Wins Right to Trial in Mel Gibson Rant Case (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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