NICHOLASVILLE — A former Jessamine County Emergency Medical Services employee has filed a lawsuit alleging discriminatory practices by the county.
Andrew Wood, who was fired in January, filed the lawsuit against Jessamine County Fiscal Court and Jerry Domidion, director of Jessamine County Emergency Medical Services, the department that operates the county ambulances.
Domidion was unavailable for comment this week. Jessamine County Judge-Executive Neal Cassity and County Attorney Brian Goettl had no comment on the suit, which was filed Friday. Lexington lawyer D. Barry Stilz, who will represent fiscal court, also had no comment.
In the suit, Wood says Domidion retaliated against him after Wood had expressed support for Lt. Tina Griggs, a co-worker who had filed an internal sexual-harassment complaint against Domidion.
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On Aug. 10, Wood said, he "was given an oral reprimand" for leaving work on July 8 upon receiving a report that a man was threatening Wood's then-fiancée, who is now his wife.
Two months later, Wood's instructor credentials from the American Safety and Health Institute were revoked by Domidion "for no known reason other than" Wood's "active support for Lt. Griggs in her complaints," the lawsuit says. (Wood taught an emergency medical technician class at a local high school.)
The lawsuit says Wood was denied a promotion in December because of the oral reprimand he had received in the summer.
Wood filed a grievance, but when he heard no reply from Domidion, Wood filed an open-records request in January for documents related to his claims in December that he was denied a promotion "despite being the most qualified candidate."
On Jan. 25, Wood was terminated, and he filed another grievance with Cassity, the judge-executive. In February, the fiscal court voted on the rules for the conduct of Wood's hearing before that body.
The lawsuit says "the clearly biased and unlawful rules denied" Wood "any semblance of due process and represent continuing discrimination and retaliation in violation of various laws intended to protect civil rights, including those intended to protect the rights of public employees."
On Feb. 27, Jessamine Fiscal Court unanimously voted to terminate Wood's employment "without cause," the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit says the defendants then "engaged in a campaign of retaliation intended to humiliate" Wood's "personal dignity." The lawsuit says the defendants "knowingly and maliciously published and communicated both orally and in writing certain defamatory statements" about Wood.
Wood says the defendants "intentionally and purposefully conspired to subject" him "to a pattern of discriminatory and retaliatory treatment." Wood said in the lawsuit that he suffered and continues to suffer "extreme mental disturbance" as a result of the defendants' alleged actions.
The lawsuit says the defendants violated the state "whistle-blower" laws, which guarantee protection for public employees who expose wrongdoing.
The lawsuit seeks, among other things, damages for violation of civil rights, negligent hiring and retention, defamation, libel and slander, past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain and suffering, lost past and future income, and "injury to personal dignity."
The lawsuit seeks a trial by jury.