Police sue Chattanooga over long-running pay dispute

Police sue Chattanooga over long-running pay dispute

July 25th, 2012 by Todd South in Local - Breaking News

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield

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.