Former Oldham County officer sues department claiming age discrimination

Former Oldham County officer sues department claiming age discrimination
The Oldham County Police Department has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit claiming age discrimination. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. (WAVE) - A former Oldham County Police officer filed a lawsuit against the department claiming he wasn’t rehired because of his age.

The department insists that’s not true and is requesting a judge throw the case out.

Dennis Clark, 65, worked for the department for more than two decades before retiring in 1995. He now works for the West Buechel Police Department.

Clark alleges he was contacted by the department in May 2018 because they wanted him back on the job. In his suit, Clark claims he passed a physical test, interview and background check to be employed by the department.

The attorney for OCPD said those claims are “unfounded.”

A motion has been filed by the Oldham County Police Dept. to dismiss the lawsuit from Dennis Clark.
A motion has been filed by the Oldham County Police Dept. to dismiss the lawsuit from Dennis Clark. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

“Oldham County, nor its police department, discriminates against any individual based on age, or any other protected classification and did not discriminate against Officer Clark,” attorney Carol Petitt said.

A motion was filed on April 25 for summary judgement, detailing the department’s reasons for choosing not to rehire Clark. It cites issues that arose during the background check process, including a photo of a skeleton with a gun in its mouth found on Clark’s social media.

Carol Petitt, attorney for the Oldham County Police Department.
Carol Petitt, attorney for the Oldham County Police Department. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

In another post, a meme refers to the “face cops make,” when threatened by someone being arrested. Petitt asserts that post seemingly makes light of the use of force that is sometimes necessary during an arrest.

A different video allegedly posted on Clark’s page shows him training with his K-9.

“Of concern with regard to the video showing Officer Clark training with his K-9 is his direction to ‘kill the subject,’" Petitt explained. “As sworn law enforcement officers we are trained to respond to resistance and we certainly do not advocate killing suspects or folks that are being detained.”

The attorney for the Oldham County Police Department presented a video, allegedly showing Dennis Clark instructing his K-9 to "kill the suspect" during training.
The attorney for the Oldham County Police Department presented a video, allegedly showing Dennis Clark instructing his K-9 to "kill the suspect" during training. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

“Oldham County Police Department cannot and will not place individuals that display such an unfettered and callous disregard for human life in a position to safeguard our citizens and our community in general," Petitt continued.

Petitt also noted several inconsistencies in Clark’s resume - such as his position as Chief of the Narcotics Department. No such department existed at the time Clark said he was in charge, according to Petitt.

Other inconsistencies were not released.

The person hired for the position was younger than Clark, according to Petitt.

A hearing for the motion to dismiss the lawsuit is scheduled for May 24.

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