WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- It was the motorcade that topped headlines around the world.
And now the D.C. Police captain demoted after actor Charlie Sheen got that high speed escort from Dulles into the District is filing a whistleblower lawsuit against the city.
Former Commander -- now Captain -- Hilton Burton says DC's Police Chief is getting away with lying to the DC Council.
"Lost my rank, I lost my pay, been pretty much exiled of the police department, so here I stand," leaving work today at Fire and Rescue Services, where he's been detailed to do internal affairs.
Burton alleges in his $12-million lawsuit that Chief Cathy Lanier violated the city "Whistleblower Protection Act," that she ignored his fundamental rights, and that she did it with actual malice.
"I want my rank back, justice done, I want the system to run the way it's supposed to," says Burton.
Burton told a DC Council Committee last June that high speed lights and sirens celebrity escorts were common long before Charlie Sheen tweeted a photo of his escort doing 80 miles an hour on the Dulles Toll Road.
He says when Chief Lanier commanded the Special Operations Division it was standard operating procedure. And that she let her officers escort Hillary Duff, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, and Minister Louis Farrakhan.
"I feel like I cannot standby and allow the continued distortion of the facts and the unmitigated attacks on the professional character of the members of the Special Operations Division," Burtontestified.
Lanier said just the opposite, insisting all the celebrity escorts violated an obscure General Order on residential parking from 1974. "You violate the General Orders, it's like ignorance of the law. We give em to you, we ask you to be familiar with them. If you don't read them and you don't know what the contents of them are, sooner or later."
Two months later, Burton was demoted and relegated to a department backwater. And that came AFTER a reported from the DC Inspector General essentially validated his version.
"Every time we see retaliation like this," said Kristopher Bauman, the head of the D.C. Police Union, "fewer people are willing to come forward. And when you have government employees afraid to come forward to right wrongs, to stop misuse, fraud, you name it, things get worse for the District of Columbia.
"There's corruption," says Burton,"and nobody wants to say anything about it, because they're afraid of what happened to me, happening to them."
No comment so far from Chief Lanier, but both Capt Burton and the FOP say they're most disappointed that DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson has done nothing to determine who is telling the truth.
Chief Lanier's insisted in the past the Burton's demotion was about his job performance -- not his testimony.
Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan
9News Now & wusa9.com