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.

Check Also

Former Florida Firefighter Convicted of Wire Fraud

A former Palm Beach County firefighter has been convicted of fraudulently misappropriating $158,960 from a charity that helps folks who have cystic fibrosis. Elizabeth Genna Suarez, 34, was convicted of three counts of wire fraud yesterday by a federal court jury.

KCK Firefighter Alleges Race Discrimination and Retaliation

A 20-year veteran Kansas City, Kansas firefighter has filed suit claiming he was the victim of race discrimination and retaliation. Leejamahl A. Washington alleges he was subjected to racial hostilities throughout much of his career, but conditions worsened after he testified in support of Jyan Harris. Harris won a $2.3 million case in 2021.