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Mr. Brito was the head of MPD’s disciplinary branch when Ms. Whiting complained about her name surfacing in a personnel matter she initiated by accusing an MPD officer of dating a drug dealer. As in Mr. Keegan’s case, Chief Lanier summarily demoted Mr. Brito, a decorated 22-year veteran with a spotless disciplinary record, from inspector to captain.

“They don’t come any straighter than Vic Brito,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, the former MPD chief and a mentor to Chief Lanier, when informed of the demotion.

Mr. Brito also is among a group of four current and former commanding officers who filed a complaint with the EEOC in March against Chief Lanier, accusing her of “a disturbing pattern of discriminatory conduct” in handing down harsher discipline for male officers than female officers.

Mr. Keegan is among 10 male commanders cited in that complaint as having been demoted for actions that resulted in no discipline for female commanders.

Chief Lanier remains adamant that her way is the right way: “This decision is completely inconsistent with prior decisions by both this judge and the OEA Board, both of which have upheld multiple discretionary demotions in the past,” she said in an email sent by her spokeswoman, Gwendolyn Crump, noting that two other summary demotion cases are pending before the Court of Appeals.