A police sergeant who was told that he must "tone down" his "gayness" in order to be promoted to lieutenant has won a discrimination lawsuit against the department.

Per a KMOV-TV report on the suit, St. Louis County Sgt. Keith Wildhaber will be awarded more than $19 million in the discrimination suit first filed back in 2017.

"If you ever want to see a white shirt [i.e. get a promotion], you should tone down your gayness," John Saracino, who was a member of the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners during the 2014 incident, is said to have told Wildhaber when discussing the promotion opportunity.

Wildhaber further alleged that he was ultimately passed over for a promotion on 23 separate occasions. When he filed a complaint, he was allegedly met with retaliatory measures and later transferred to a different precinct.

Many are calling for the resignation of Chief John Belmar, citing this and additional incidents connected with the department. 

In a statement, however, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page instead called for new members to be appointed to the police board, adding that an announcement on appointments was forthcoming. The chairman of the board overseeing the department resigned this week.

As a separate St. Louis Post-Dispatch report points out, an investigation into possible perjury has now been launched by St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell, with department officials saying they plan to fully cooperate with the investigative efforts.