ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (CN) - An ex cop says the Village of Gulfport, Ill., fired him to retaliate for his truthful report to the FBI that the mayor had paid an exotic dancer $100 for sex and promised to "take care of outstanding warrants" against her. The FBI investigated, Mayor Rick Myers committed suicide, and, the plaintiff says, he was fired after Myers son was appointed to the Village Board.
Rick Gerstel sued the Village in Federal Court.
According to his complaint: "On or about January, 2008, Plaintiff, through his employment as a police officer for the Village of Gulfport, learned that the Mayor of the Village, Rick Myers, had procured sexual favors from a female exotic dancer performing at establishments within the Village in exchange for $100 and promises that Mayor Myers (who told the female that he was the Chief of Police of the Village) would take care of outstanding arrest warrants against the female exotic dancer.
"Immediately thereafter, Plaintiff made a report of this information to the Henderson County Sheriff and to the Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, which led to an investigation into the allegations of official misconduct.
"Shortly thereafter, in June of 2008, Mayor Rick Myers, committed suicide.
"In November, 2008, Rich Myers, the son of the deceased former Mayor, Rick Myers, was appointed to the Village Board of the Village of Gulfport.
"Thereafter, on information and belief, Rich Myers and other members of the Village Board and at least one other individual who was not an employee, agent, officer or Board Member of the Defendant, engaged in discussions about Plaintiff's role in the investigation of former Mayor Rick Myers, and a decision was taken by the Defendant to discharge Plaintiff.
"On or about January 11, 2009, Defendant discharged Plaintiff."
Gerstel demands reinstatement, lost wages and damages for constitutional violations, wrongful firing, retaliation and whistleblower violations.
He is represented by Daniel Alcorn of Galesburg.
Gulfport's population is 222, according to the latest available census figures.