Ex-cop says military cost promotion

Village contends Roth received what was legally entitled

WEST SALEM – The village’s insurance company is defending against a lawsuit from a disgruntled former police officer.

Kenneth Roth filed a complaint in February with the U.S. District Court in Cleveland accusing the police department of passing him over for promotion while he was deployed overseas with the military.

According to village solicitor Allan Michelson, Medina attorney John Latchney was hired to defend the suit.

Roth says in his complaint that he would have been eligible for promotion if he hadn’t been deployed and that when he returned, his supervisors harassed him and then removed him from duty as psychologically unfit without any testing. Once tested, the complaint says, it showed him fit for duty but he was not returned to work.

Roth is asking for $25,000 in compensation, $25,000 in punitive damages and attorney fees.

In its answer to the complaint, the village asserts it complied with the law by returning Roth to his job when he returned from military duty. He “had no right or entitlement to an interim promotion, which he would not have received even if he had not served in the military.”

The village contends that Roth had said he no longer wanted to work for the West Salem Police Department and failed to respond within the required 30 days to a village inquiry as to whether he intended to continue working for the village. The village considers the failure to respond to be the equivalent of quitting.