(STMW) — A former Robbins police detective is suing village officials over alleged racial discrimination in hiring practices and for retribution when he sought drug charges against a relative of Mayor Tyrone Ward.
The federal lawsuit claims that Det. Christian Daigre was fired after disobeying an unlawful order to get rid of crack cocaine confiscated during a traffic stop involving the mayor’s relative, Kenny Joyner.
The suit, filed in March, claims the village violated Daigre’s constitutional right to free speech when he threatened to speak out about an alleged cover-up and his right to due process when he was suspended and later fired on falsified charges. It also says Daigre, who is white, was denied equal protection rights by being subjected to discriminatory employment practices.
“It is abundantly clear that my client was a victim of race discrimination,” Daigre’s attorney, Laura Scarry, said.
The lawsuit alleges that Ward and village trustees conspired to interview for the chief’s job only black candidates who were less qualified than Daigre, including Mel Davis, and failed to check into Davis’ background before his appointment as chief in May 2013.
The day after Davis’ appointment, Daigre was told he was being fired for not being a “good fit for the police department,” according to the lawsuit.
In July, Daigre arrested Joyner with 20 individually packaged rocks of crack cocaine after stopping him and his girlfriend, Sinita Acklin, the lawsuit claims.
Davis informed Daigre of Joyner’s relation to the mayor and ordered Daigre to destroy the evidence, release Joyner but charge Acklin with pot possession to recuperate towing fees for the village, the suit says.
It states that Daigre did not destroy the crack but sent it to the Illinois State Police crime lab for testing.
About three days later, Daigre was suspended pending an internal investigation and later was fired by Davis after questioning whether his suspension was due to Joyner’s arrest, according to the suit.
It seeks Diagre’s reinstatement to the police force with back pay and punitive damages.
A message left Tuesday with the village attorney was not returned.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)