Bartlesville Police Headquarters
Photographer: Thomas Berger/ BartlesvilleLIVE
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - Eight Bartlesville police officers have filed a lawsuit against the city of Bartlesville alleging misuses of personal information, among other allegations.
The petition for injunctive relief filed Friday in Washington County District Court makes for the fifth action filed against the city by its police.
Among the suit's plaintiffs are two former officers, Sonya Worthington and Stacy Neafus, fired and later charged in December with assault and battery following an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation probe into an incident at Jane Phillips Medical Center.
The other officers listed are Russell Renfro, Adam Walker, Elizabeth Mitchell, Thomas LeBlanc, Cody Thomas and Carey Duniphin.
In the petition, the officers allege the city has violated its own policies and procedures concerning personnel information by requiring employees to present medical information which it then discloses to other employees and to the public.
Additionally, the officers claim the city does not give adequate protection to personnel files, allowing unauthorized persons to access private information without the employee's knowledge or consent.
According to the petition, officers say the city maintains “multiple copies” of “wrongfully retained” information files, which it then uses for “disciplinary actions, personnel review matters, including termination.”
Officers say the city, “under the guise of 'training films',” has shown employees video of the Neafus and Worthington which served as a basis for their termination and was therefore part of their personnel file.
They allege city administrators have maintained “secret files” for the purpose of punishing the officers “as well as an attempt to avoid compliance with the Freedom of Information Act requests.”
In the petition, the officers request the court to immediately order the city “to collect and then to remove and destroy all personnel information” not required to be maintained by policies, procedures and law.
Additionally, it asks that the city be ordered to adopt and enforce rules and regulations for the proper maintenance and use of personnel information.
According to the class action suit, the officers seek no less than $10,000 each and punitive damages for damages suffered by them as a result of the city's “illegal and improper employment practices.”
They expect the city to pay all court costs related to the case.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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