UPDATE: Former L’burg Police Officer Files New Lawsuit Against City
By Mike Perleberg
Update published at 2:58 p.m.:
Lawrenceburg City Attorney Leslie Votaw provided a statement Monday regarding the allegations laid out in Doug Taylor’s federal lawsuit.
“The allegations are nothing new and are baseless. Mr. Taylor resigned from Council because of his agreement with the Prosecutor in which he admitted to criminal activity,” Votaw said.
Original story published at 10:52 a.m.:
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – An ex-police officer has filed another lawsuit against the City of Lawrenceburg and some city leaders.
Former city councilman Lawrenceburg Police Captain Doug Taylor was fired by the Lawrenceburg Board of Works in September of last year after he had been criminally charged with Ghost Employment and Official Misconduct after he appeared at a 2011 campaign event in his police uniform. A deferred prosecution agreement to reduce the felony charges to misdemeanors required that he resign his city council seat.
The lawsuit names Lawrenceburg Mayor Dennis Carr, Chief of Police Gene Hunefeld, the Lawrenceburg Board of Public Works and Safety, city councilman Bill Bill Bruner, and Board of Works members Donnie Bryant and Mario Todd.
Taylor, who was a 22-year law enforcement veteran, had previously filed a lawsuit against the BOW in Dearborn County court following his termination. On July 25, he filed a new federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.
In the federal lawsuit complaint, Taylor alleges he was fired for exposing public corruption within the city in a published report. That report was a March 4, 2013 public letter to Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard asking for an investigation into alleged misdemeanor and felony crimes by Carr and the others.
“The Plaintiff was a career police officer in the City of Lawrenceburg who was terminated for expressing opinions and casting votes as a member of the Lawrenceburg Common Council on matters of public concern and for publishing a report exposing wrongdoing and multiple misdemeanor and felony crimes by officials of the City of Lawrenceburg,” the complaint states.
The lawsuit alleges that Carr, Todd, Bruner, Bryant, and Hunefeld met in illegal executive sessions with the city attorney or another attorney to devise and agree upon a plan to fire Taylor regardless of what information surfaced during his August 2013 termination hearing.
Taylor claims he should have been protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, common law regarding defamation, and Indiana’s whistleblower statute.
For relief, Taylor requests an amount sufficient to compensate for damages to his reputation, emotional and mental distress, future emotional and mental distress, lost earnings and fringe benefits, front pay including fringe benefits, lost future earnings, attorney fees, punitive damages, and other just relief.
Neither Mayor Carr not any of the other plaintiffs have been criminally charged for their city activity.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Indiana’s southern district has previously subpoenaed records dating back to 2007 from Lawrenceburg and the City of Greendale relating to Lawrenceburg’s regional economic development grant program.
Carr was not immediately available at his office Monday morning and city marketing director Kelly Will, the office’s spokesperson, was on vacation. An Eagle 99.3 email to Lawrenceburg City Attorney Leslie Votaw was not immediately returned.