Thursday, July 20, 2017

Two former U.S. District Court security officers file lawsuit for wrongful terminations privateofficer.com

BUR20150120Whistleblowers2

Rutland, VT July 20 2017 Two former U.S. District Court security officers who say they were fired in retaliation for making reports about another employee's misconduct have filed a lawsuit against their former employer, Inter-Con Security Systems Inc.
Duane Dingler of Colchester and James Dempsey of Lincoln were both fired in 2015 on allegations of misconduct while on duty.
Both say the allegations should not have led to their termination and that they feel they were targeted after reporting misconduct of their supervisor..
Dingler worked in the U.S. District Courthouse for 21 years and Dempsey for 15 years.
The third employee, the lead federal court security officer at the time, was also fired, the complaint states.
Dingler and Dempsey had reported him for mishandling his firearm multiple times and possessing what they thought was drug paraphernalia.
A lawyer with Inter-Con Security, Natalie Griffiths, did not return messages this week requesting comment. No lawyer for Inter-Con has been assigned to the case as of Wednesday. The complaint was filed late last week in U.S. District Court in Rutland, according to a court docket.
Dingler and Dempsey want their jobs back, they would like education by Inter-Con designed to prevent this type of situation from happening again, and payment for lost earnings, damages and attorneys fees.
In November 2015, Dingler and Dempsey filed a joint charge to the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Justice Department alleging retaliation for whistleblowing by Inter-Con Security Systems Inc. and the U.S. Marshals Service. Dingler's lawyer Jim Levins said the investigation was opened and the two men were interviewed in January 2016, but no final report has been filed in the more than 600 days since the filing.
John Lavinsky, senior counsel to the Inspector General, declined to comment, saying “our practice is not to confirm or deny the existence of ongoing investigations.”
Dempsey was ultimately fired after an investigation into his use of a U.S. government computer, on which he had listened to music, saved Celtic symbols and printed a plastic card for personal use, the lawsuit states. Dingler was never told why he was fired, according to the lawsuit.
Dingler and Dempsey have not found new jobs in the meantime. Dempsey's lawyer says his client's Inter-Con termination is the main reason for that.
"I think he's still very upset about what happened," Lawyer Rich Cassidy said. "He's really a law enforcement person, and when you say he got fired by the federal government, people are not interested."

Dingler's lawyer Levins said the two men were hoping to get the Inspector General's report before filing a lawsuit. The complaint states that the Inspector General's Office requested a 180-day extension in July 2016, but nothing has been filed since.

"It's hard on these guys to just have this in limbo," Levins said Tuesday. Speaking about his client, Dingler, Levins added, "He's anxious to have a resolution. He feels that he was fired for doing his job."
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