Judge reviews merits of Rainsville officer's suit - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Judge reviews merits of Rainsville officer's suit

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Rainsville Chief Investigator Stephen Dutton is seeking damages from the city and Mayor Nick Jones. Rainsville Chief Investigator Stephen Dutton is seeking damages from the city and Mayor Nick Jones.
RAINSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A judge must now decide if the lawsuit filed by a Rainsville police officer against the city and its mayor can move forward. All parties involved appeared in court Tuesday morning.

The defense hopes the judge will dismiss the case, but the police officer hopes the judge will rule it can go to trial.

Rainsville Chief Investigator Stephen Dutton is seeking damages from the city and Mayor Nick Jones based on claims of age discrimination and retaliation.

The suit claims Dutton was removed as acting chief when the chief put him in that position due to a long-term surgery he was expecting. In May 2013, the suit claims, Dutton was replaced by a younger officer by the mayor without consulting the chief.

Dutton's suit also claims the city council unanimously approved Dutton be promoted to Captain from Sergeant in October 2013, and receive a pay increase – an action the mayor has refused to do.

The mayor was one of the main focuses of discussion Tuesday, as to whether he should remain part of the suit. The mayor's attorneys argue the case should be dismissed because it already lost in federal court, but Dutton's attorneys disagree.

Dutton is suing for damages and back pay. If the judge rules in his favor, the suit will move forward. If he rules in favor of the mayor, the case will be dismissed.

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