Archive for Thursday, April 6, 2006

Police officer’s lawsuit going to trial

April 6, 2006

An attempt to reach an out-of-court settlement of a Basehor police officer's lawsuit against the city has failed.

Sgt. Martin Cigich, a 19-year police department veteran and a former interim police chief, is suing the city of Basehor, alleging age discrimination in the city's hiring of police Chief Terry Horner. In addition, Cigich is alleging that when the city hired Horner in fall 2004, the city violated a state law that gives preference to veterans in some hirings. Cigich is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

A trial in the case is set for Nov. 7 in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan.

On March 21, attorneys for both sides met with federal mediatory Jim Margolin in an attempt to settle the case, but that was unsuccessful, according to court documents.

Cigich, who was 55 when he filed the federal lawsuit, said he met qualifications for the chief's job, but the city hired a less-qualified person from outside the department who was younger.

City officials have denied their hiring of Horner constituted age-based discrimination, adding that they hired Horner because he was more qualified than Cigich.

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