Oregon Chief and City Sued for $1.2 Million

A fire department employee who was forced to resign last year amidst allegations of forgery has filed a $1.2 million action against the City of Springfield, Oregon and three high-ranking city employees including the fire chief.

Linda Morris claims she opted to retire last November after she was told if she did not, allegations that she forged a document would be turned over to the police for investigation. According to the lawsuit the threats were made at a meeting on November 25, 2013 with Eugene Springfield Fire Chief Randy Groves, Springfield Human Resources Director Greta Utecht, and Peter Fehrs, a human resources analyst.

The suit filed last week in Lane County Circuit Court alleges a violation of Morris’s civil rights, age discrimination, unlawful employment practices and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Suit seeks $1.2 million, $600,000 for economic damages and $600,000 for emotional distress. Morris, who was 64 when she retired, was a receptionist.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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