1 of 2
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this July 28, 2006 file photo originally released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, actor-director Mel Gibson is seen in a booking photo taken after his arrest on drunken driving charges. An LA judge ruled Thursday that James Mee's allegations of discrimination should be heard by a jury, but cast doubts on whether the veteran officer can prove his case. The Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy arrested Gibson on suspicion of drunken driving in 2006 in Malibu. During the arrest, the Oscar-winning actor made anti-Semitic slurs to Mee, who's Jewish.

LOS ANGELES — A judge says a jury should decide if a sheriff's deputy who arrested Mel Gibson for drunken driving faced discrimination after the incident because of his religion.

Deputy James Mee claims his supervisors at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department discriminated against him because he is Jewish. He says his advancement opportunities were diminished after Gibson made a series of anti-Semitic comments during his 2006 arrest.

Superior Court Judge Barbara Scheper ruled Thursday that jurors should decide whether Mee suffered discrimination and endured a hostile work environment. She also raised many pointed questions about whether he could persuade a jury.

Scheper dismissed Mee's claim that he suffered retaliation after Gibson's arrest.

The sheriff's department has denied the claims. The trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 14.