Sneed files suit over Red Bank firing

Sneed files suit over Red Bank firing

July 13th, 2010 by Chris Carroll in Local Regional News

Attorneys for ousted Red Bank Police Chief Larry Sneed on Tuesday filed a lawsuit alleging that three city commissioners and the city manager conspired to fire him and asking for $1.5 million in damages.

City Manager Chris Dorsey, Vice Mayor Monty Millard, Commissioner Greg Jones, Commissioner Floy Pierce and the City of Red Bank are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Mr. Dorsey declined again Tuesday to say why he fired Mr. Sneed, who ran the department for seven years, But he said the chief's contract was considered an "at-will" deal, meaning he could be fired for any reason or no reason at all.

The lawsuit asserts that at "a secret meeting at the home of one of the Commissioners ... younger officers complained Sneed was too old fashioned, strict and would not give them take home cars and uniforms." The lawsuit also says Mr. Dorsey has no documentary evidence to support those complaints.

Last week, Mr. Sneed's personnel file revealed two dropped complaints from 2007 and 2009, but nothing from this year.

Mr. Dorsey has said he looked into the issues behind Mr. Sneed's firing starting about three weeks ago.

The lawsuit calls the firing a "retaliatory discharge," stemming from two arrests of Mr. Millard conducted by the Red Bank Police Department in the last year. Mr. Millard has denied any involvement with the firing.

See Wednesday's Times Free Press for complete coverage.