A Lexington police officer has filed two federal lawsuits against the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, alleging in the first that the city violated state law and the Fair Labor Standards Act and in the second that the city retaliated against him for filing the first suit.
Officer Keith Todd has been required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings three times a week and submit to random drug tests since May 2006 because of an incident that occurred while he was off-duty, court documents show.
According to court records filed by the city, Todd was at his home drinking and took some sleeping pills on March 1, 2006. "His wife came home, discovered these facts, and called an ambulance," the documents say.
The police responded, along with an ambulance, and Todd was taken to the University of Kentucky Hospital, where he stayed for five days. After attending a private alcoholism treatment program, he was required to undergo an evaluation by a psychiatrist to determine whether he was "fit for duty."
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The psychiatrist recommended the AA meetings, drug screenings and regular counseling sessions, and Todd agreed to them as a condition of his employment, the records indicate.
Todd asserts in a lawsuit filed July 1, 2008, that the city should be required to pay him overtime for the time he has spent doing those things, since they were required as a condition of his employment.
The city denies in court records that it is required to pay him for that time. The case is pending.
On Friday, Todd filed the second suit, in which he claims that the city retaliated against him and conducted an "unconstitutional search and seizure" by changing the procedure by which the monthly drug screenings were conducted. Starting in September, he was forced to submit urine samples in full view of a physician's assistant, the suit says.
Todd says he had undergone 39 drug screenings prior to that, during which he was not required to urinate in front of anyone else. The suit says that none of the screenings has indicated that Todd had used drugs or alcohol or tampered with the integrity of a urine sample.
In court documents filed in May, the city said that "to his credit, (Todd) has been sober for the duration."
City spokeswoman Susan Straub declined to comment on the litigation Tuesday evening.
Todd, who is on active duty with the police department, also declined to discuss the cases in detail during a brief interview Tuesday.
"My personnel record speaks for itself," he said.
In addition to the city government, the most recent lawsuit also names Michael Allen, director of the city's Division of Human Resources. Allen declined to comment on the suit Tuesday evening.
Todd's lawsuits do not name the police department.
"I am an eight-year veteran of the police department, and I'm very happy to be employed there," he said.