COITSVILLE Ex-official files suit over loss of positions

The lawsuit contends a trustee threatened the former assistant chief's job.
COITSVILLE -- A former Coitsville Township assistant police chief and zoning inspector seeks damages in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court against the township and two trustees.
Allan P. Morris, who was named assistant chief of police in March 1996, is suing Trustees Walter Avdey and Gerald Backo for abolishing his police role and removing him from the position of zoning inspector.
Suit's contention: The lawsuit says that Avdey expressed displeasure with Morris the day before the November 2001 election -- an election in which Morris supported candidates other than Avdey and Backo. The suit also states that Avdey threatened Morris' job if he won the election.
Morris' lawsuit states he was removed as zoning inspector after the election and given reduced rank and pay with the police department in January 2002. He now serves as a lieutenant there.
According to the lawsuit, Avdey and Backo said they removed the assistant chief position to save money. Avdey declined to comment. The township attorney could not be reached to comment.
Morris is seeking damages for loss of income and professional stature and for the public humiliation of being removed from his township roles.
"He's doing the same thing he was before in the police department but for less pay," said Atty Gary L. Van Brocklin, who represents Morris.

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