HUBBARD Police chief's lawsuit claims bias in city effort

The chief contends the city is trying to force him to retire.
HUBBARD -- Police Chief Raymond L. Moffitt has filed a discrimination complaint, contending the city is trying to force him to retire because of heart problems.
In the complaint filed with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and the federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, Moffitt says the city is using his heart disease as the basis to force him out.
The complaint was filed on his behalf by Atty. Ira J. Mirkin of Youngstown.
Robert Paterniti, city safety director, said in response, "We feel ... the city has proper documentation to show the claim is false."
What he contends: In the complaint, Moffitt, a member of the police department since 1976 and 17 years as chief, acknowledges he has heart disease.
In April 2001, the complaint alleges, the department work schedule was changed by the city, requiring him to perform patrol duty in uniform.
As chief, Moffitt contends, his duties have been to supervise and administer the department, not patrol the streets.
Moffitt says in his complaint that on Jan. 28, he was ordered by Mayor George Praznik to undergo a physical with his cardiologist.
The mayor attempted to influence the report by listing physical fitness requirements for the chief's position that did not apply to other officers, the chief says.
What happened next: Moffitt was placed on administrative medical leave Feb. 11, although the city had not received his medical report.
Ten days later, Moffitt says, he was placed on sick leave and has not been permitted to work.
Moffitt contends he has lost wages and/or accumulated sick leave benefits because he has been forced to use his sick leave to continue to get paid.
Moffitt maintains he can perform his job as chief with or without reasonable accommodations.
The complaint says he has suffered humiliation, mental and emotional anguish and anxiety because of the discrimination against him.

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