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Mel Gibson arresting deputy allowed to sue

Mel Gibson is seen in a booking photo taken July 28, 2006. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

February 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The sheriff's deputy who arrested actor Mel Gibson for speeding has been given the go-ahead on a pending lawsuit, a judge ruled on Tuesday.

Deputy James Mee claims he was subjected to an anti-semitic rant and then punished by the department over how he handled the July 2006 DUI arrest. Attorneys for Mee say their client is Jewish.

Attorneys say Mee suffered discrimination, retaliation and harassment by the department.

Sheriff's department attorneys say Mee waited too long to file his suit, but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John A. Kronstadt rejected that claim and allowed the case to go forward.

Kronstadt said his ruling was based on the fact that Mee's attorneys maintain there is a continuing pattern of alleged discrimination against the deputy, and therefore the normal time in which to file the case is not infringed.

Mee alleges his bosses directed him to remove parts of his report shortly after Gibson was arrested, "effectively participating in covering up the anti-Semitic posture of Mr. Gibson."

During the July 2006 DUI arrest in Malibu, the actor said, among other things, that Jews were responsible for all the wars in the world. He later issued an apology admitting to making "despicable" remarks and attributed his behavior to alcoholism.

Mee is now assigned to patrol duty at the sheriff's Santa Clarita station.

City News Service contributed to this story.