City ordered to rehire officer

The Chattanooga Police Department named Mickel Hoback "Officer of the Year" in 2007. Two years later, the Iraq war veteran was fired for having post-traumatic stress disorder.

Last week, the Hamilton County Chancery Court ordered Chattanooga to give him his job back with back pay.

City attorneys have 30 days from Tuesday to file a response to Chancellor Jeffrey Atherton's decision. Calls to the city attorney's office were not returned Friday.

A separate $1.5 million federal lawsuit could bring the U.S. Department of Labor into the case to prosecute Chattanooga for violating the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Act, according to Phillip Lawrence, Hoback's attorney in both suits. The law, among other things, covers civilian employer conduct concerning military personnel.

The initial U.S. District Court filing, which since has been amended, also alleged that then-Police Chief Freeman Cooper fired Hoback in retaliation for Hoback's comments to the media in 2008 about take-home patrol car changes for police who lived outside the county.