Former Deutsche Bank AG Hollywood banker Brian Mulligan sued the Los Angeles Police Department, alleging he was severely beaten, illegally detained and wrongfully accused of using a drug known as bath salts.
The lawsuit, filed yesterday in federal court in Los Angeles, seeks at least $20 million in damages from the May 2012 confrontation with two police officers in the city’s Highland Park neighborhood. The police department, the city and officers James Nichols and John Miller were named as defendants, as well as the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
Mulligan alleged in the lawsuit that he was beaten so badly that he needed emergency surgery. He claimed he was falsely imprisoned in a motel and defamed in a press release. The lawsuit follows an administrative claim filed by Mulligan seeking as much as $50 million in damages for injuries that include 15 nasal fractures, a broken shoulder blade and post-traumatic stress.
“Brian Mulligan was brutally beaten by a predator wearing a badge and a uniform and then he was attacked and vilified in the press,” Skip Miller, his attorney, said in an interview. “He did nothing wrong and he has been devastated.” Mulligan’s administrative claim was rejected, he said.
Sandy Cooney, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney, said yesterday the office hadn’t received the lawsuit and couldn’t comment.
Officer Christopher No, a spokesman for the police department, said he couldn’t comment on pending litigation and wasn’t allowed to provide contact information for the officers.
Eric Rose, a spokesman for the police protective league, also said the organization hadn’t seen a copy of the complaint.
“What we can tell you is that Mr. Mulligan thrust himself into the public eye by holding a press conference to discuss his wild and lurid allegations against LAPD officers,” Rose said in an e-mailed statement. “The unedited, complete version of Mulligan’s tape recorded conversation with another law enforcement agency is at odds with the tale he wove, but the tape speaks for itself.”
Police said Mulligan, 53, was forcibly subdued after he took a fighting stance and charged officers who saw him attempting to enter moving vehicles late on May 15, 2012, or early the next day.
Local television reports at the time said Mulligan told officers he had used bath salts, the street name for synthetic, paranoia-inducing stimulants, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency website.
The drugs produce effects similar to amphetamines and LSD, according to the DEA site, and their primary ingredients were declared controlled substances by the agency on Oct. 21, 2011.
Mulligan is now unemployed, according to his lawyer. The banker specialized in financing for Hollywood film and TV studios and has participated in deals including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.’s $500 million credit facility announced in last February.
“We very much look forward to our day in court and putting this all in front of a jury,” Skip Miller said.
Mulligan joined Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank in 2009 and previously was chairman of Brooknol Advisors LLC, an entertainment adviser and investment firm. He also held management positions at Fox Television Studios Inc., Seagram Co. and Universal Pictures Ltd.
Mulligan said in his complaint that that the police department knew that Nichols had a history of violence, including abusing his authority by wrongfully detaining women in the Hollywood Division, where he was assigned, to demand sex under the threat of arrest.
The Los Angeles Times reported in January that Nichols was under investigation for using the threat of arrest to force female informants to have sex with him.
Mulligan accused the police protective league and its president of retaliation and a smear campaign that he said cost him his job at Deutsche Bank, according to the complaint.
In October, the police protective league publicly released a recording of a conversation in which Mulligan acknowledged to a Glendale police officer that he had used bath salts about 20 times in previous weeks. On Nov. 5, Deutsche Bank fired Mulligan, citing “concerns about publicized disclosures related to a personal matter,” according to the complaint.
The case is Mulligan v. Nichols, 13-cv-00836, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).