Police Sergeant Says He Was Fired For Serving Country

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UPDATED: Tuesday April 23, 2013 9:32 PM

A longtime Mount Vernon police officer has filed a federal lawsuit naming the police chief and city law director.

Police Sargent Mark Perkins has been serving on the police force and in the Ohio National Guard for years.

On Friday, Perkins said, he was fired from the force, which cited insubordination and gross misconduct in his termination.

But just days before he was let go, he filed a 30-page discrimination lawsuit in federal court. Perkins claims he was discriminated against because he was in the military and has been periodically activated.

His attorney said that by law, he should have been compensated for that time but never was, resulting in a wage loss of $40,000 over a period of at least four years.

According to the lawsuit, Perkins also says Mount Vernon Police Chief Michael Merrilees would repeatedly yell, ‘Are you a soldier or a cop?" in reference to his military background and work performance.

A Mount Vernon police dispatcher referred 10TV to City Law Director Chip McConville for comment on these claims who said in part

"We expect to make a vigorous defense of these claims,” McConville said.

Perkins says he not only wants his job back, but says he also wants justice.

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