Fired cop thrust into national spotlight over equal rights bill - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Fired cop thrust into national spotlight over equal rights bill

Posted: Updated:
Kile Nave Kile Nave
Nave alleges he was fired last year from his position as an Audubon Park Police sergeant for reporting harassment. Nave alleges he was fired last year from his position as an Audubon Park Police sergeant for reporting harassment.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A local police sergeant who claims he was fired for being gay became part of a national debate this week over whether to grant new workplace protections for gay and transgender people.

Kile Nave, a former Audubon Park Police sergeant, alleges he was fired last year for reporting harassment after a supervisor called him names and used gay slurs around him.

Nave said he was surprised when staffers from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office called him for details on his case, and asked if Reid could share them as part of a push to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"Although it's nice to be known for something, this isn't really what I want to be known for," Nave said. "I'm happy that this may help other people to not have to go through what I'm going through."

Reid said a federal law was necessary to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Most states, including Kentucky, don't have such protections – although Louisville Metro is covered under a local ordinance.

"With one simple federal law in place," Reid said, "people like Kile could go to work without fearing such torment."

After several failed attempts in recent years, the Senate is expected to pass the legislation Thursday.

But it will likely die in the Republican-controlled House after Speaker John Boehner said he didn't support the bill.

"It's frustrating but it's a step forward that we're at least getting as far as we have now," Nave said. "A few years ago, it never would've gotten to this point."

Meanwhile, Nave's case is moving forward with the Metro Human Relations Commission after members denied an appeal from Audubon Park's lawyers to reconsider a preliminary finding of probable cause against the city.

The former police sergeant is also suing the city for wrongful termination, discrimination and breach of employment policy, said Bryan Gatewood, Nave's attorney.

Kyle Vaughn, a lawyer representing the City of Audubon Park in this matter, said he's filed a motion to dismiss the case that the judge hasn't decided.

"The city denies all allegations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation," said Vaughn, adding that he couldn't comment further because the case is ongoing.

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.