ROCKFORD - A veteran of the Rockford Police department
has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city of
The decision not to promote came around in May of 2011, a month after the position became available and two months after the original complaint was filed. A separate complaint of sexual harassment was filed in May as well with the police department.
Tomasino and his attorneys are suing on two different counts. The first is against the city, claiming Chief Epperson retaliated against Tomasino because his wife filed the sexual harassment complaint and Tomasino believes Epperson failed to promote him because of that, according to court documents.
"Thirteen people were found to be qualified for those positions including Mr. Tomasino," said Arthur Ehrlich, Mr. Tomasino's attorney. "Nine of those positions were filled and Mr. Tomasino, despite his seniority and very good evaluations and pretty good track record, did not get any of those evaluations."
The second charge is against Epperson in his individual capacity. This charge accuses Epperson of abusing his power as the chief of police and that he, "should have known that the decision to not promote [Tomasino] to any of these nine open positions was retaliatory and violated the Plaintiff's due process rights," according to court documents.
Totaling up actual, punitive and compensatory damages, Tomasino and his attorney are seeking $1,000,000 from both the city and Chief Epperson.
Tomasino's attorney assumes the city, chief and plaintiff will meet in court for the first time in late August or the beginning of September.