LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) The Los Angeles sheriff's deputy who arrested actor Mel Gibson for a DUI in 2006 sued his department Tuesday, alleging that he has been ostracized and overlooked for promotions since the incident.
Deputy James Mee, who is Jewish, says he was forced by his superiors to eliminate references to anti-Semitic insults uttered by Gibson during the arrest. A portion of Mee's report was first leaked on the celebrity gossip Web site TMZ.com, which sparked a four-year investigation that Mee claims violated his department's policy and has hindered his ability to be promoted, according to the lawsuit.
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore denies the allegations.
"The whole story is not being told in this lawsuit and we look forward to telling it," Whitmore said. "It has nothing to do with religious discrimination. We categorically deny those allegations."
Though a criminal investigation ensued after Mee's initial report leaked, the Los Angeles district attorney's office decided not to file charges against the deputy.
Mee's attorney, Etan Z. Lorant, claims there was also video footage of the actor-director that showed him uttering religious slurs, but according to the lawsuit, one of the sergeants erased the videotape.
Whitmore said none of the evidence taken during Gibson's arrest has been destroyed.
Gibson apologized for his anti-Semitic outburst following his arrest, attributing the rant to his ongoing battle with alcohol. He complied with all the terms of the probation give in the drunken driving case, and his conviction was expunged last year.
According to the lawsuit, Mee joined the sheriff's department in May 1989. Lorant says Mee wants his reputation with the department to be restored and he hopes the lawsuit will resolve that.
Mee, 55, seeks unspecified damages for loss of income, benefits, medical expenses and for emotional distress and mental suffering.