Texas Firefighter Sues For Suspension Related Damages

A Texas firefighter who was indicted by a grand jury on charges that he posted a sex video online in his ex-girlfriend’s name is now suing his fire chief for suspending him without pay while the case played itself out.

Travis Parkinson filed suit against City of Lubbock Fire Chief Mike Kemp last week in 99th District Court claiming a breach of contract. He is seeking back pay and damages of roughly $55,000.

Parkinson was arrested by Lubbock Police on June 26, 2014 on charges of online harassment for allegedly creating an account on a pornographic website in his ex-girlfriend’s name and posting a sex video. The next day he was suspended with pay. At the time he was off on injury leave.

After a Lubbock County grand jury indicted him on one count of third-degree felony online impersonation, Parkinson was suspended without pay.

The charges were dismissed in January, 2015, and Parkinson’s status was changed back to leave with pay shortly thereafter.

The suit alleges that Chief Kemp failed to properly notify the Civil Service Commission about the reason for Parkinson’s suspension without pay, nor inform him that he had a right to appeal.

In addition to lost wages, Parkinson claims he was forced to use all of his vacation and sick time, plus incurred health care costs.

More on the story.

More on the original allegation.

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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