BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (CN) – A police officer claims the City of Glasgow and two police lieutenant colonels fired and defamed him to retaliate for his cooperation with a federal investigation that resulted in two police majors being convicted of drug crimes and witness tampering.
Lt. Cols. James Duff and Kent Keen were friends of the convicted majors, former Officer Larry Martin says in his federal complaint. Martin also sued the city and its Mayor Rhonda Trautman.
Martin was hired as a Glasgow police officer in 2006.
“During the winter of 2009, plaintiff Martin became a federal informant against two majors with the Glasgow Police Department,” the complaint states. “Said officers were being investigated by federal authorities for drug possession/trafficking and tampering with a witness. They were ultimately charged and convicted.
“After his cooperation with the U.S. attorney which resulted in felony convictions for the two majors, plaintiff Martin became the target of increased disciplinary practice by the remaining superior Glasgow officers who were friends of the convicts, including defendants Duff and Keen.”
In February 2010, the then-Glasgow Police Chief told Martin in writing that he was recommending that he be fired, Martin says. Martin had a hearing before the City Council on April 20, 2010.
“During the April 20th, 2010, hearing, plaintiff Martin testified about the drug trafficking committed in the Glasgow Police Department and the subsequent witness tampering by the convicted majors,” the complaint states. “Plaintiff Martin also, for the first time, played tape recordings of the convicted majors stating that the Mayor (defendant Trautman’s predecessor) made it clear that he would terminate Officer Martin if it was determined that he was cooperating with the federal prosecutor with any investigation into the Glasgow police department.
“As a result of the hearing, the City of Glasgow Council rejected the Police Chief’s request for termination, and suspended plaintiff Martin for a period of ninety (90) days.”
In March this year Duff and Keen fired him without providing him an adequate explanation, Martin says.
According to the complaint, Martin believes he was fired on trumped-up allegations after he had to help two other officers restrain a “combative and unruly prisoner,” whom a judge had ordered out of his courtroom, where the prisoner was appearing on a charge of felony assault on a police officer.
Martin says no charges were ever filed against him, for that incident or any others.
He seeks reinstatement for punitive damages for “malicious abuse of power,” due process violations, whistleblower violations, official misconduct by all of the individual defendants, defamation, and other charges. He is represented by Stephen Wolnitzek with Wolnitzek & Rowekamp, of Covington, Ky.