Friday, May 12, 2023

Fired Pineville deputy marshal's lawsuit against mayor, city officials moved to federal court

Following a motion by attorneys representing Pineville city officials a wrongful dismissal lawsuit filed against them by fired deputy marshal Jessica Dulany, a Neosho resident, has been removed to U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

In her petition, Dulany alleges she was not given due process and was never told what their problem was with her job performance.

In the lawsuit, which was originally filed March 23 in McDonald County Circuit Court, Dulany claims city officials have also attempted to "question her honesty" and "end her career."

Listed as defendants are Mayor Greg Sweeten, aldermen Jeffrey Scott Dennis, Roy Milleson, and Connor Underwood, City Marshal Christopher Owens and Deputy City Marshal Christina Poitras.

From the petition:

(A)t some point in time prior to December 13, 2022 an administrative investigation was instituted by the Marshal’s office and Pineville of which Plaintiff was the subject of said investigation.

That during said investigation Plaintiff was never informed of the investigation in writing, the existence and nature of the alleged violation nor of the individuals who were conducting the investigation.

That Plaintiff was not informed within five (5) days of the conclusion of the administrative investigation of the investigative findings and/or any recommendation for further action, including discipline.

That a complete record of the administrative investigation, to include an entire copy of the entire record was not provided to Plaintiff upon her request, up to and including that date of filing of this petition.

On December 13, Owens suspended Dulany without pay, but never explained why, according to the petition. Two weeks later, she was fired without ever receiving an opportunity to address any allegations against her or even know what those allegations were, she says.

Dulany, who is represented by Joplin attorney Steven Alan Hays, claims city officials did not follow their own handbook, or even come close to following the handbook, and never provided her with written notice of any of the actions that were taken against her.

The lawsuit alleges a conspiracy among the mayor, city marshal and Deputy Marshal Poitras to defame Dulany.

Outside of the scope of their duties as officials of the City of Pineville, defendants Sweeten, Owens and Poitras conspired together to end the employment of Plaintiff with Pineville, including but not limited to taking administrative employment actions upon information which they knew or should have known to be false and making police reports disparaging Plaintiff’s name as well as that of her husband’s.

Sweeten, Owens and Poitras agreed and/or understood that unlawful and/or wrongful means would be used in furtherance of said conspiracy, including, but not limited to, Poitras making false reports with the Newton County, Missouri Sheriff’s Office in attempts to disparage Plaintiff’s character, place into question her honesty and end her employment and/or career.

Dulany is asking for reinstatement, back pay, priority placement, retroactive seniority and lost benefits, as well as compensatory damages "for the violation of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights, and for her pain, suffering, emotional distress, damage to reputation and humiliation, in an appropriate amount to be determined."


Anonymous said...

I’d like to do this to the city of Purcell same thing happened to me

Anonymous said...

The Deputy Marshall sued the City of Granby for the same thing. She should offer good experience to Pineville in the case.