A D.C. Superior Court judge has ordered the D.C. police department to promote a sergeant who was denied his promotion to lieutenant because of his alleged involvement in a prewedding stag party in his honor at which two prostitutes were hired to perform sexual acts.
Judge Tim Murphy directed the department to promote Sgt. Gilberto T. Campos in an order issued Wednesday.
Last year, Campos filed a civil suit against then Police Chief Burtell M. Jefferson when the chief refused to promote him after a police trial board dismissed a formal charge against him stemming from the stag party held in June 1979 in the penthouse suite of the Holiday Inn at 1615 Rhode Island Ave. NW.
Campos, 33, a 12-year police veteran, had been charged with conduct "prejudicial to the reputation and good order of the police force" when he engaged in "sexual improprieties with unidentified females in the presence of others." Campos, however, disputed the charge, claiming he was forced to engage in the sexual activities by officers who held his arms.
When department internal affairs investigators learned of the party in October 1979, Campos was immediately knocked off the list of prospective lieutenants due for promotion the next month.
According to court papers, Campos was denied promotion because there was a trial board charge pending against him. However, his lawyer, Joel Finkelstein, argued that Campos was not notified that he faced the charge until March 24, 1980, four months after the promotions were made.
His lawyer also argued in court papers that since Campos was subsequently exonerated by the trial board, he should have been promoted. "What's fair is fair," Finkelelstein said yesterday.
It was unclear yesterday whether Campos will be awarded back pay for the two years he was denied the promotion to lieutenant.
Campos was one of four officers acquitted of trial board charges stemming from the bachelor party. Six officers accepted reprimands for their involvement. A captain retired on his own initiative after the party became known. More than 35 other officers attended the all-night party but were not disciplined because they said they did not participate in the sexual activities.
The two prostitutes, who have never been found, were paid an undisclosed amount for their night's activities from a collection taken for the party among the police officers, according to the internal affairs investigation report.