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Saginaw officer cries wrongful discharge

Police officers are employees just like the rest of us. The city or county in which they work is their employer. And just like traditional employees, a police officer has just as much right to take action if they feel they have been wrongfully discharged.

An officer in Saginaw, Michigan has taken just those measures and the case is very similar to what we see in workplaces around the state and country all the time. The man has filed a wrongful discharge suit against Saginaw and its police department, which relieved the officer of his duties on Nov. 7, 2008.

It might seem like the city was justified in doing so. The man's firing came after an Aug. 16, 2008 accident where he crashed through a person's home in Saginaw Township. He was found to be drunk at the time of the crash, and it was his second drunk driving arrest. Officials at the police department in Saginaw fired him as a result.

The officer argued that he should not have been fired, rather, protected under the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act on account of a disability he suffered from.

This disability was revealed after the man sought treatment following the drunk driving crash. Doctors confirmed that he suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome and had an alcohol dependency. The lawsuit also stated that one sergeant, who was particularly instrumental in getting him fired, knew about his struggles with alcohol.

The ex-officer argued that his dependency on alcohol never interfered with his job performance.

The man originally filed a lawsuit in December of 2010, but a judge dismissed it because he did not serve Saginaw with a summons within 120 days of filing the lawsuit.

Source:, "Saginaw police officer arrested for drunk driving after off-duty crash re-files wrongful firing lawsuit," Gus Burns, Feb. 15, 2012

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