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Richmond Daily News
Sean Comer, News Reporter
Though not yet ready to be filed, the lawsuit between Orrick Police Chief Troy Sims and the city of Orrick is beginning to take shape.
David Lunceford, the Lee’s Summit attorney representing Sims, confirmed Monday that a potential lawsuit against the city will allege a Missouri Human Rights violation a violation of Sims’ rights under the Health Insurance Individual Portability Act.
Sims was placed on indefinite administrative leave by the city May 30, pending an alleged Ray County Sheriff’s Department investigation, and days later was served with an order of protection ex parte filed by Butler June 3 during a closed session hearing before the Orrick City Council. Butler, in filing for the order, claimed Sims had made her feel threatened since she took office earlier this year, by following her in his car in and out of town, watching her home from a squad car across her street and following her to work at Butler’s restaurant, the Bearcat Den.
Days later, at a June 3 closed session before the Orrick City Council, Sims was served with an order of protection ex parte, filed by Butler, that Lunceford alleges violated Sims’ HIIPA rights by publicizing his prescription use of the antidepressant Paxil. Lunceford said the Missouri Human Rights Commission will have to investigate the matter to determine if they have a claim to a violation.
“They say (Sims) was so hopped up on medication he couldn’t do his job,” Lunceford said. “Which we say is ridiculous.”
Butler’s order of protection – later denied – would have been in effect for one year and barred Sims from carrying a firearm, effectively ending his career. During Sims’ leave, the city has paid Sims by paying him for approximately two years of accrued comp time in lieu of his salary, which Lunceford said may lead to an additional harder-to-prove claim.
“I think he’s going to have a hard time finding a job based on how they’ve trashed his name,” Lunceford said. He indicated he has been in talks with Orrick City Attorney Kevin Baldwin in an attempt to resolve the dispute before the case has to go to court. If that resolution can’t be reached, Lunceford said he will likely file within the next 60 to 90 days.
Baldwin could not be reached for comment by press time.