A gentleman working in a Seattle police department will receive $1.52 million for joking about the Holocaust, sporting a Hitler-style mustache, and hanging Nazi SS insignia on his office door.
Derek Kammerzell, the former Kent assistant police chief who had worked with the department for 27 years, was at first reprimanded with a mere two weeks of unpaid leave after another officer noticed the hateful display. But when furious residents pressured Mayor Dana Ralph to fire the Nazi sympathizer, the ludicrous system of loopholes created to protect police prevented the department from doing so without offering him a hefty payout.
From NBC News:
The city's attempt to essentially discipline Kammerzell a second time led to a dispute between his lawyers and the city that appeared headed for litigation. But interim city Chief Administrative Officer Arthur "Pat" Fitzpatrick, who is also the city attorney, said Friday the city had resolved the matter through negotiation, The Seattle Times reported.
Ralph, in calling for Kammerzell's resignation in January, acknowledged that the decision to revisit the discipline issue would likely "come at a high cost." The city said Friday it would pay him $1,520,000 to resign.
Had the city simply fired him, officials said, he likely would have won back his job through arbitration due to federal and state labor laws.
An internal investigation concluded Kammerzell knew the meaning of the insignia he placed above the nameplate on his office door in September 2020 — that of an "obergruppenfuhrer" — a high official in Hitler's paramilitary Schutzstaffel, or SS, which was responsible for the systematic murders of millions of Jews and others in Europe during World War II.
Kammerzell also was overheard joking about the Holocaust, according to the internal investigation.
The moral of the story is that white supremacists in the police force now have an easy way to make a quick million bucks — at least for those who live in Washington state.