Sept. 13--A deputy fire chief is suing the city for at least $325,000 because of his reassignment from the Tulsa Fire Department's administrative chief position last year.
Jeremy Moore, a 16-year veteran of the department, was informed Nov. 7 that he would serve as a district chief, his previous job, rather than in the post he had held since April 2011.
He argues in a lawsuit filed in Tulsa County District Court last month that he was demoted without cause shortly after Ray Driskell became fire chief.
Both Driskell and Moore were candidates to replace outgoing Chief Allen LaCroix, who had appointed Moore to the administrative chief position. Moore alleges in the lawsuit that this "was a motivating reason" for his reassignment.
He had previously requested a city trial to settle his grievance -- a right granted under the City Charter -- but the City Council denied his request after City Attorney David O'Meilia issued a legal opinion stating that the request was unjustified.
O'Meilia argued that Moore was never formally promoted, as LaCroix had appointed him to his new position without competitive examination or involvement of the Personnel Committee. He therefore could not have been formally demoted, O'Meilia argued.
Moore argues in his court filing that he was, in fact, demoted, stating that his salary and standing were reduced as a result of the action. His salary went from $94,011 to $81,654 a year.
He outlines five grievances in his lawsuit -- each worth compensatory damages "in excess of $75,000," the document states.
He claims that he was deprived of due process both under the state constitution and the City Charter; that he was wrongfully demoted without good cause; that he was the victim of negligence in that city officials did not comply with state and city laws; that the Fire Department interfered with his "economic relationship" with the city; and that the city breached its contract with the firefighters' union regarding demotion procedures.
Moore is represented by attorneys Joel LaCourse and Fred Stoops.
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486
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