Chuck Onofry
Chuck Onofry

Wrongful Termination

November 2013

Summary Judgment in Retaliation Claim Against Town of Quartzsite

On November 20, 2013, Chuck Onofry won summary judgment against the Town of Quartzsite and three town officials personally in a First Amendment retaliation claim by six police department employees who had been fired after they publicly accused former police chief Jeffrey Gilbert of misconduct.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Aspey granted the motion, which imposes liability on all defendants for the wrongful termination action.

In 2011, police officers filed complaints against Gilbert with the Town Council, the Department of Public Safety and the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, the state’s law-enforcement certification agency. Among other things, the employees alleged that Gilbert unlawfully used national crime computers to investigate political foes and violated the civil rights of dissidents by making arrests without probable cause. They also alleged that Gilbert failed to document vacation and leave time.
More: The Court's order and "Federal Judge: Quartzsite Officials Violated Officers' Rights," Arizona Republic, November 27, 2013
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