published Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Police sue Chattanooga over long-running pay dispute

  • photo
    Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield
    Photo by Lido Vizzutti

Twenty-nine Chattanooga police officers have filed a lawsuit against Chattanooga, its mayor and police chief alleging age discrimination, due process violations and breach of contract for failing to fix pay problems among the ranks of sergeant and above.

The main complaint centers around a promotion program that has allowed new police officers training and raises that, in many instances, paid lower-ranking police more than their supervisors.

Filed in Chancery Court on Monday, the lawsuit seeks back pay, lost benefits, damages allowed under certain state provisions, court costs, attorneys fees and a solution to the pay disparity.

Attorneys for the officers, Bryan Hoss and Stevie Phillips, said in a statement today that Mayor Ron Littlefield and the City Council have acknowledged there is a significant problem with the pay plan.

“They’ve only exacerbated it by ignoring the older, more senior officers,” Hoss wrote. “It’s a ludicrous situation when a subordinate makes more than their supervisor especially in any organization in which there is a military-style chain of command like the police department.”

Littlefield’s spokesman Richard Beeland deferred comments on the pending lawsuit to city attorneys who have not yet responded.

For more see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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