Former police official, mayor caught in employment dispute

Small town life is often portrayed as idyllic. However, reality is seldom like the ideal, and one small town is currently in turmoil over an employment dispute between the former chief of police and the mayor and council. While this particular legal fight is not occurring in California, this type of disagreement is not limited to any one profession or geographic area.

It is not readily apparent as to what led to the former chief filing his civil suit, as the mayor is reluctant to share any information regarding the supposed firing of the official. Currently, the small town has dissolved its own police force and entered into an agreement with another town to share police duties. The former chief was hired in May of last year and was allegedly fired in November during a council meeting.

The town's representative claimed that the chief was fired for not reporting for work since September. However, the mayor stated that the man had retired. The chief and his legal counsel state that he had only requested additional information from his personnel files in order to make a determination as to whether he could retire. He disputes that he stopped working and further contends that he was not provided written notice of his firing from the council members nor provided an opportunity to defend himself.

The matter will be presented to a judge this month. For the time being, the mayor has refused to provide any further information concerning this employment dispute without a court order. Apparently, this small town will save several thousand dollars in its current contract with its neighboring village. Workers in California also have the right to file similar claims against an employer if they believe they have been a victim of an unjust termination. Consulting with a professional knowledgeable about employment laws may allow one to determine whether he or she has a valid case.

Source: cantonrep.com, "Wilmot, police chief wage legal battle over job", Steven M. Grazier, Jan. 13, 2017

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