11/29/2007

Neb. officer claims weight led to firing

By Kevin Cole and Jennifer Palmer
Omaha World-Herald Staff Writer
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BELLEVUE, Neb. — A Bellevue police officer has been fired after being accused of being not physically fit enough to perform his duties, an attorney for the officer said.

Officer Chris Parent was terminated effective Wednesday, said Steve Delaney, one of Parent's attorneys.

Police Chief John Stacey Jr. made the decision to terminate Parent a few days ago, Delaney said, and the decision was sustained Tuesday by the city administrator.

Parent, 50, had been a member of the Police Department for more than 25 years, Delaney said. He was named outstanding officer for the third quarter of the year in 2004.

"Our contention is that Chris Parent has been doing his job and doing it well," Delaney said. "His termination is certainly unjustified."

City officials refused to discuss the firing. "We don't discuss personnel matters," said Pat Sullivan, Bellevue's city attorney. City Administrator Gary Troutman and Stacey also declined to comment.

Delaney, who was contacted at home, said two grievances on Parent's behalf have been filed with the Police Department by the police union. He declined to give details of the grievances.

Delaney said one of the next steps would be to appeal Parent's firing to the Bellevue Civil Service Commission.

Parent could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

Copyright 2007 Omaha World-Herald

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