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Mongar files discrimination suit

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By Jennifer Caldwell

 

A Campbell County Sheriff’s Department (CCSD) employee is claiming he was the victim of discrimination and is seeking monetary damages.

In a lawsuit filed against Campbell County Government last Friday in circuit court Sgt. Darrell Mongar, an 11 year veteran of the department, claims the discrimination he experienced on the job is a direct result of his filing a worker’s compensation claim after sustaining on the job injuries.

In all Mongar is asking for $800,000 in damages.

According to the complaint, Mongar began his employment with the CCSD in 1998 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant and canine officer in 2001, but was relieved of his canine officer duties on April 14.

The complaint states Mongar was wrongfully demoted, his partner Rooke was retired and his salary was reduced. Through his attorney, David Dunaway, Mongar alleges these actions were used as a means of retaliation against him for having been hurt on the job and filing claims for worker’s compensation benefits.

In the suit Mongar claims that in April Sheriff Gary W. Perkins requested the county commission approve a resolution authorizing the transfer of ownership Rooke to Mongar despite the fact that a recent physical examination had given the canine a clean bill of health and indicated no reasons for retirement.

Information in the complaint states that in April 2008 Mongar was involved in a collision while on duty.

At that time Mongar had answered a call to investigate stolen property when he began experiencing dizziness, headaches and weakness. It was when he was returning to the Campbell County Jail to see the CCSD nurse that he became unconscious and lost control of his patrol car crashing into two other vehicles, the filing said.

As a result of the accident Mongar sustained injuries to his head, neck, right shoulder and back. According to the complaint Mongar underwent a physical exam at the onset of his employment with the CCSD which showed him to be free of “adverse health conditions, including hypertension.”

Prior to the incident in April 2008, the complaint states one of Mongar’s duties with the CCSD was meth technician. In the suit Mongar alleges his exposure to chemicals including lithium vapors during with work clandestine labs caused him to experience a partial complex seizure which resulted in “traumatic injuries to his neck and thereafter impaired short-term memory.”

Due to the seizure Mongar was advised by Dr. Charles S. Ward to avoid further contact with lithium and meth labs, the complaint states.

Despite this restriction, the complaint alleges accommodations could have been made to allow Mongar to continue in his capacity as a canine officer.

However, Mongar’s stated handicap allegedly led to his demotion and subsequent reduction in pay in the amount of $9,750.

In the suit Mongar requests that a jury be allowed to decide the fate of his case.

He is asking for compensatory damages not to exceed $300,000 as well as punitive damages not to exceed $500,000.

 

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