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Police chief seeks compensation in wrongful termination suit

There are some jobs and positions where someone's public reputation or persona can factor into how they are perceived professionally. While some may assume this is primarily true for public figures, such as politicians, it can also be true of police chiefs. Any Colorado public official may want to follow the case of a police chief who has filed a wrongful termination suit and also contends the town officials are guilty of defamation.

The police chief alleges he was called into a private meeting with four of the town supervisors on his day off. He was handed a letter saying he was being fired from his position as police chief. He had gotten promoted to the position months beforehand. The letter said he was fired for violating the mission statement of the police department.

He has filed suit and says he was never given the chance to respond to the allegations. Others came forward to allege the firing of the police chief was because he had taken a picture with a topless woman when he was on vacation. The police chief also contends the supervisors released information with the intent to defame his reputation and prevents him from seeking employment in the town.

The police chief in this case is suing for a settlement in the amount of $1.5 million. This is reportedly an estimate reflective of the wages he will miss out on based upon his termination. When a Colorado employee pursues a wrongful termination suit, they may typically seek back and/or future wages. A successful wrongful termination suit can also lead to someone being reinstated to the position they were terminated from. Any Colorado employee who believes they were fired due to unjust reasons and/or retaliatory circumstances may benefit from exploring their rights under state and federal employment laws.

Source:, Fired Fairview Twp. police chief Scott Hockenberry files lawsuit alleging wrongful termination and defamation, Jan Murphy, Oct. 31, 2013

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