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Dave Ramsey
4 PM - 6 PM
WSJM-FM 94.9

Posted: Wednesday, 06 August 2014 1:00PM

Federal Lawsuit Against St. Joseph Could Take Two Years To Reach Jury

Former St. Joseph Deputy Public Safety Director Al DiBrito is suing the city, Public Safety Director Mark Clapp and City Manager Richard Lewis for damages, lost wages and more related to his firing in May. He was let go after several internal investigations into the conduct of both himself and Clapp, with the director serving a five-day suspension at the same time. We talked to DiBrito's attorney, John Smietanka, about what's next in the process.


DiBrito is arguing the city infringed on several of his rights, including his First Amendment right to free speech and violated the Whistleblowers Protection Act. He claims his firing was retaliation for working to make changes to the department. Smietanka says the city has 21 days to file an answer, and there are a slew of conferences between lawyers that would happen after that before the case moves to the jury.


Through his attorneys, DiBrito filed the lawsuit in federal court in Grand Rapids on Friday. The lawsuit seeks payment of lost wages both past and future, money for lost fringe and retirement benefits and unspecified compensatory damages. DiBrito is asking for a jury trial.


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