Rochester police chief's GI son sues over hiring

  • Article by: MARK BRUNSWICK
  • Star Tribune
  • August 16, 2012 - 9:36 PM

A son of Rochester's police chief has sued the city, claiming he was discriminated against after being injured while serving in the Army in Iraq and being denied a job when he returned home.

Jeremy Peterson, whose father Roger is the chief of police, suffered a disability while serving with the 101st Airborne during two tours in Iraq. Peterson, who had begun work with the city in 2008 as a community services officer and moved up to become a police officer in 2011, wanted to return to work as a community services officer after his honorable discharge from the service.

But according to a lawsuit filed in Olmsted County District Court, the city's Civil Service Commission refused to allow him to return to the former position, even though there were vacancies. The suit claims Peterson was discriminated against because of a 10 percent hearing loss that also affected his speech.

The suit also claims that two members of the city's Civil Service Commission violated state open meeting laws by conferring about Peterson's qualifications with another Rochester police officer who had registered concerns about Peterson.

The suit, which names the city of Rochester and two commissioners, seeks more than $50,000 in damages and attorney's fees.

Mark Brunswick • 612-673-4434

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