WV police chief asks judge to dismiss ex-officer's lawsuit

Town denied every accusation, said it's immune from liability


Charleston Gazette

BECKLEY, W.V. — Sophia Police Chief Tomi Peck and others say they did nothing wrong in firing the town's only black police officer after six months on the job, and they want his lawsuit dismissed.

Damon McDowell sued Peck, Town Council and others earlier this month, claiming he was racially harassed and falsely accused of wrongdoing throughout his employment.

McDowell says the harassment included hiding paperwork so he missed court appearances and telling jokes with racial epithets in his presence.

In a response filed with U.S. District Court in Beckley, the town denied every accusation Wednesday and said it's immune from liability because it acted in good faith.

It says any harm McDowell suffered is the result of his own misconduct and argues that if any defendant broke the law, it was unintentional.

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