Former Lexington police officer Keith Spears has filed a lawsuit against the city's fire and police pension board for disability, about a month after he was denied a disability pension for a second time.
The lawsuit, filed Nov. 26 in Fayette Circuit Court, names the board of trustees of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Policemen's and Firefighters Retirement Fund as respondents and alleges that the denial of Spears' pension was "erroneous" after three doctors determined that he was disabled after a 2006 ankle injury.
Spears began paying into a retirement fund in 2001, the lawsuit said.
According to the lawsuit, Spears filed for disability March 6 after a meeting with Police Chief Ronnie Bastin about a confrontation between Spears and a 13-year-old soccer referee in Scott County.
Spears pleaded guilty in January in Scott District Court to misdemeanor charges related to the October 2013 confrontation. Spears agreed to pay $403 in fines and court costs and to donate $750 to the Kentucky Soccer Referee Association, and he apologized to the boy and his parents.
In a letter June 26, Spears resigned from the police force after he was told that a disciplinary hearing would be scheduled before the pension hearing and that it would be televised. He resigned because of "pressure," saying that he saw "no other way to avoid adverse publicity and family embarrassment," the lawsuit said.
Last month, the pension board voted to deny Spears' request for a disability pension for a second time, concluding the issue of whether he was eligible for disability even though he had resigned from the force.