Former LMPD detective suing police department for wrongful termination
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A former Louisville Metro Police detective who was fired after allegedly threatening to kill his supervisors is suing the department for wrongful termination.
Christopher Palombi was fired in February after LMPD’s chief Erika Shields said the homicide detective violated standard protocols due to the alleged threats to other officers.
On Thursday, a complaint was filed in Jefferson Circuit Court by Palombi’s attorney, Thomas Clay, stating Palombi had been terminated in spite of his post-traumatic stress disorder.
According to the document, Palombi had been assigned security duty by LMPD during the summer protests of 2020. Palombi’s attorney said he had been subjected to gunfire on four separate occasions.
His assignments from LMPD caused him to suffer stresses and experience symptoms of PTSD as a former combat veteran, the document states.
Palombi seeked medical assistance from the Veteran Administration for his PTSD, which LMPD was made aware of. The document states LMPD supervisors were made aware of Palombi’s deteriorating condition and his performance as a homicide detective.
The department transferred Palombi from homicide to patrol in January 2022 for “mental health reasons,” according to his attorney. Palombi made his supervisor, Lt. Donnie Burbrink, aware that he was not doing well mentally.
During this time, Palombi’s condition deteriorated “to the extent that he allegedly made threats to other members of the homicide unit and a member of the Command Staff,” according to the complaint.
Burbrink told Palombi in a text message exchange he could seek inpatient treatment and would be moved to temporary duty to another LMPD unit following treatment completion. Palombi flew to California and enrolled in a 30-day treatment program, which the department paid a portion of the treatment cost.
According to the document, Burbrink was not truthful in his statements to Palombi via text, and once Palombi returned, he was served pre-termination paperwork.
Palombi was terminated on March 2.
In the filed complaint, Palombi’s attorney said his client seeks compensatory damages for lost income, damages for mental anguish, injunctive relief reinstating him to his former position and a trial by jury.
Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.