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Retaliation ? Issue in federal lawsuit over Paxton Police Chief’s firing

A federal lawsuit filed in Urbana on behalf of former Paxton Police Chief Bob Bane alleges the veteran officer was fired illegally by Mayor Bill Ingold. The suit claims retaliation for Bane’s action taking the city to court for overtime pay he believed he was entitled.

The eight-count complaint alleges that the mayor’s August 29, 2017 termination of Bane’s employment violated the Illinois Wage and Hour Act, prohibiting employers from retaliating against an employee for complaining to the employer about unpaid wages.

The lawsuit also alleges the city violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Illinois Whistleblower Act and the Illinois State Official and Employee Ethics Act by firing Bane.

The Ford County Record reports the lawsuit also alleges that the city violated its own ordinances by firing Bane without giving him written notice of the reasons he was being fired. The city also allegedly violated Bane’s constitutional rights for not providing him a post-termination hearing.

Mayor Ingold nor the City Council has commented on the suit. The Record reported the mayor has never publicly disclosed why he fired Bane, who had been the city’s police chief since May 2006, saying only that “it was clear a change in leadership was needed.”

94.1 WGFA