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Mongar files suit against city of LaFollette

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By Jennifer Caldwell

The city of LaFollette’s appointment book is filling up quickly.  

With the filing of another lawsuit it looks as if the municipality may have a court date in its future.

Last Tuesday David Dunaway filed a $100,000 complaint in circuit court on behalf of his client, Darrell Mongar.

In the legal document Mongar alleges the LaFollette City Council recently passed on hiring him for a position with the LaFollette Police Department due to his age and handicap.

Mongar served as a sergeant and canine officer for the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department until April 14, when he was terminated from the position.

On July 27 Mongar was presented to the LaFollette city council for a position of canine officer with LPD.

According to the complaint, council members “refused to hire Mongar because of his handicaps, in part because of his age.”

In April 2008 while employed with the CCSD Mongar suffered a seizure which caused him to be involved in a car accident which resulted in “traumatic injuries to his neck and thereafter impaired short-term memory.”

Following his termination from the CCSD, Mongar filed suit against the department alleging his termination was directly related to the filing of a worker’s compensation claim.

Mongar states in his claim against the city that despite having ample training to do the job, council members used his “perceived disability” as a “motivating factor” in their decision to refuse him employment.

The complaint goes on to say that at the same time Mongar was passed over for a position the council voted to hire “substantially younger” individuals with less qualifications.

While Mongar admittedly had lifting restrictions due to on-the-job injuries at CCSD, the documents filed last Tuesday state his handicap “did not prevent him from performing the duties required by the employment of a law enforcement officer.”

Mongar also alleges that a number of citizens who appeared before the council on July 27 in support of his being hired as a canine officer were informed that he would not be hired because of his handicap.

As a result of his being denied employment, Mongar contends that he has suffered damages including loss of earnings and personal injuries like humiliation and embarrassment.

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

He is asking for compensatory damages not to exceed $100,000.  In addition Mongar is also asking that he be hired by LPD.