Federal Judge Dismisses Former Chief's Lawsuit


JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) – A federal judge has dismissed the wrongful firing lawsuit filed by a former West Tennessee police chief.

According to The Jackson Sun, U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen granted summary judgment on Sept. 28 to the defendants, who were the City of Bolivar and several local public officials.

Court documents show the issues dismissed related to Bill Irons' claims of conspiracy, First Amendment retaliation, due process, equal protection, the Tennessee Human Rights Act and the Tennessee Equal Access to Justice Act.

Irons sued after he was fired in August 2011 on a 5-1 vote by the Bolivar City Council.

Irons, who is black, claimed city employment practices created a conspiracy to defame and dismiss him. He claimed racial discrimination and other unlawful acts led to his dismissal.

Breen chose to not hear Irons' remaining claims of slander, libel and violations of the Tennessee Public Protection Act and noted that federal courts may decline to hear claims under state statute if federal claims have been dismissed.

Irons' attorney, Michael G. Floyd, said he will discuss with his client whether to appeal the decision.

Bolivar Mayor Barrett Stevens and the city's attorneys could not be reached for comment Monday.

Information from: The Jackson Sun, www.jacksonsun.com

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