A jury sided with a former West Covina deputy fire marshal last week in his whistleblower-retaliation lawsuit against the city.
Jason Briley had worked for the West Covina Fire Department for nine years when he was fired in September 2015. The city claimed Briley had been fired for improper conduct and being difficult to work with, but he alleged the move was retaliation for him pointing out various city facilities — including City Hall, the Cortez Park Community & Senior Center and the Cameron Park Community Center — did not have proper fire alarm systems.
Briley filed his lawsuit in January 2016, and on Wednesday, a jury awarded him a little more than $4 million.
“My first reaction was that I was vindicated,” Briley said in a phone interview. “I didn’t do anything wrong and wasn’t a horrible person.”