The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

March 26, 2014

Ex-Athens police officer says he was wrongly fired after reporting alleged corruption



42 U.S.C. § 1983



100. Plaintiff adopts and re-alleges each and every allegation contained in this Complaint as if set out anew herein.

101. The above-described actions of Defendants were taken under the color of state law.

102. In taking the above-described actions, the Defendants intentionally and willfully retaliated against the Plaintiff for his speech that was protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

103. The Plaintiff’s Constitutionally protected speech was in regard to a matter of public concern: corruption within the Athens Police Department.

104. Said speech played a substantial part in the defendants’ decision to discharge the Plaintiff.

105. The actions of Defendants constituted a conspiracy to retaliate against Plaintiff for his protected activity.

106. Defendant Harris, Defendant Harrison, Defendant Johnson, Defendant Harper, and Defendant Marks all consciously contributed to and engaged in the conspiracy to terminate Plaintiff in retaliation for his protected activity.

107. Defendant Tracy Harrison acted under color of state law when he encouraged and participated in Defendants’ retaliation against Plaintiff for his protected activity.

108. Defendant City of Athens acted through its chief decision makers,

Defendant Mayor Marks and Defendant Police Chief Johnson, when it terminated Plaintiff in retaliation for protected activity.

109. Defendant City of Athens has a pattern and practice of not equally investigating allegations of misconduct, or evenly enforcing the policies of the Athens Police Department, in order to allow selective enforcement of said policies.

110. Defendant City’s selective enforcement of its employment policies and procedures, including the investigation, discipline, and termination of employees who run tags for non-law enforcement reasons, allowed Defendant City to terminate Plaintiff in retaliation for his protected activity under its policies and procedures.

111. As a proximate consequence of the Defendants’ violation of the First Amendment, the Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer damage to his professional life, reputation, and future career opportunities, future pecuniary losses, emotional pain, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and non-pecuniary damages.

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