Alex Blaze

Cop fired for having appeared in gay porn

Filed By Alex Blaze | August 11, 2010 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: employment protections, fired for being gay, Florida, Michael Verdugo, police

I can't believe we're even discussing this, but this police officer is having to fight for his job after having appeared in a gay porn film:

mike-verdugo.jpgHollywood Police Department fired him for not disclosing previous employment -- the porn film -- on his job application, Verdugo's lawyers said.

Verdugo, who also was a former Design Star contestant on HGTV, has sued to get his job back. The suit is scheduled to be heard in November in Broward Circuit Court.

Hollywood police spokesman Lt. Manny Marino said Tuesday his department would not comment on the Verdugo case.

Verdugo, 36, is appealing to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to allow him to remain a certified officer.

The FDLE tentatively agreed, but the city of Hollywood is fighting his request and wants him stripped of his certification, his lawyers said.

Call me a bleeding heart, but I actually don't think that having done a certain job at some point in history automatically disqualifies someone from holding future employment.

But imagine how much messier this case would be if he had become a teacher instead.

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Alex isn't the issue simply that he failed to disclose accurately all previous employment?

Basically I was thinking along the lines of Tobi below. I mean, I don't put all my previous employment experiences on my resume. I just can't. I tutored for money when I was in high school, but I don't put that down. I have worked as a bartender for a couple events, whenever I see an ad on craigslist or hear about a job, but I don't put that on my resume. Should I? The golden rule is one page, so I wouldn't put that down. This is one film, it's not like he made a career out of it. I'm guessing homophobia had more to do with it, unless we find out that this particular police department is going through their entire staff and looking to see what odd jobs people have done without disclosing them.

"Verdugo said it never occurred to him to put the movie on his résumé when he first became a Lauderhill cop in 1999, or when he applied to the Hollywood department two years later. ("

There is a lot of wiggle room in that statement. Did it "occur" to him to cash his paycheck from the film? I wonder how many people seeking position of trust jobs don't examine everything they've ever done in relationship to the application process. My guess is that he carefully weighed the pros and cons of including the film job on his application.

I have no opinion on the effect that employment in the adult film industry should or shouldn't have on a career in law enforcement. I do have an opinion of the effect lying on the application should have. A lie of omission is still a lie.

If he didn't think it was employment, that's the claim he should be making.

I don't know if it's so much a lie of omission. Is a resume supposed to be 100% of the experiences that you've had that you were paid money for? In my English resume I use the heading "relevant experience" and just get around that whole question. I really couldn't fit everything I've ever been paid for on a resume, and I've probably forgotten some of the jobs I've had.

The thing about porn work is that it is usually contracted work for an afternoon. "the porn film" indicates that it's only one gig. When I think of work history, I usually think of longer term positions.

It honestly would never occur to me to list the one time I mowed my neighbor's yard, or babysat for a friend, or each individual article I've written that I've been paid for, every anthology that I've been published in, every workshop I've done, every performance I've given, and so forth. Not to mention that if I did -- and filled out a separate entry for each director I worked for, each venue I performed at, each publisher I wrote for, etc, it would probably take a couple of pages per year just to fill out.

And Greg, do you honestly think that this would be an issue if he had left off a one night babysitting job or the one time his friend who ran a bar paid him to play music?

I think you will find that a police agency in Florida is very specific in the way it asks for all information on previous jobs including part time and casual labor. Many officers also have been discharged for matters that might seem to be not job related such as public drunkenness during off duty hours. Police and Sheriff's offices are particularly sensitive on any activities associated in any way with pornography. I'm not defending that phobia as right but simply stating that it exists. Its the concept that officers should be above reproach in their personal lives if they are to maintain public respect. Perhaps some may think it inane but these are public servants who testify in courts. Any suggestion that an officer doesn't quite measure up to very strict personal standards of behavior is like blood in shark infested waters to a good defense attorney.

Yeah, there is a difference between a resume and a work history form, which can be very detailed. But still, I've never seen a work history form that accommodated one time gigs.

No one is saying the police department doesn't hold biases of sex worker phobia -- in fact I think that is the complaint being lodged here. If it's about "personal standards of behavior" then it clearly is unrelated to "failure to disclose accurately" his work history.

I can see the relevance with public drunkeness. First off, it's a crime. Secondly, it shows an inability to conduct oneself in a controlled and conscious manner while engaging with the public.

Working in porn is perfectly legal and is in no way a reason to expect inappropriate behavior. If that's a part of "personal standards of behavior" does that mean that they'll start rooting out anyone who's had a one night stand? Played in a rock band? Made a joke with sexual innuendo? It's simply not appropriate to have a public position of authority be subject to unrelated and subjective moral standards.

Beyond that, to fire someone for not standing up to a subjective and restrictive moral code and pretend it is because of an unforeseen error in their application is beyond disingenuous. It's stinks of double standards, selective enforcement, and personal biases far more immoral (and relevant to the job of law enforcement) than involvement in pornography. I would much rather be protected by an officer who worked in porn once than an officer who is willing to manipulate the truth and dish out punishments on false pretenses and selectively enforced policies.

Check this out Tobi. ...>

They fired the manager because his new wife had been a porn star.

Tobi above says:

Working in porn is perfectly legal ...

Maybe yes and maybe no ... it is true that the pornography industry is itself legal. Any employer can be a stickler, however, and claim that having sex for pay, whether on camera or not, constitutes prostitution and is therefore illegal (in the vast majority of the US).

If he merely appeared nude, it would be trickier to make this accusation stick.

And I can see the pickle that the Police Chief is in ... for every open-minded constituent in the community that thinks Verdugo should be allowed to continue in his job, there is another conservative constituent who objects ... and since voters in most cities elect police chiefs, it is a matter of prevailing community standards.

In the early 1990's in West Hollywood, California, his history of nude modelling did not prevent Steve Schulte (Colt Studio's "Nick Chase") from later being elected to the City Council, and serving as mayor when his turn came around. And now California has a Governor whose nude shots from his younger years are not difficult to locate. Yawn.

I'mn sorry, but the Hollywood PD? I think the more appropriate question here would be how many of their patrolmen *havent* appeared in a porno film?

This is just stupid. Who cares? Does it adversely affect his performance as a cop? No: I'd say his having been on Design Star would do that. But to be in a porn film? C'mon -- everyone on the force watches them. They afraid he might come off as better hung?

Hollywood, Florida. But that's a valid point - how many have appeared in straight porn but haven't been fired? How many have appeared in porn, period, but the department hasn't found out?

What kind of post is this? Where's the link to a picture of him holding his nightstick?

You see, this is what happens when El Maestro doesn't write the post. :)

No, it's probably best you did the post. I'd have done a photo spread of him and his nightstick and casually mentioned he got the boot. LOL

You're so serious though, you didn't even give us his porn name so we could surreptitiously do a quick Google image search.

Thanks, Michelle, for helping us get to the bottom of the story. This sort of hard, probative evidence is bound to help us (at least us guys) reach an appropriate outcome.

@tristram: Not a typo, but your usage here obviously calls for a hyphen --- "out-come"

Ah, Michelle. You're my kind of woman. ;)

that police officer is cute!

i so would love for him to get me pregnant! i'm looking for ni sperm donors. i would want him to wear his cop uniform. teehee!! i hope he is straight now or bi. my goal is to fuck a cop! and have a relationship with him.