LMPD officer who won $450,000 settlement in whistleblower lawsui - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LMPD officer who won $450,000 settlement in whistleblower lawsuit again sues the department

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville Metro Police officer who last year won a $450,000 settlement in a whistleblower lawsuit against Metro Government has again sued the city.

Officer Barron Morgan claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Jefferson Circuit Court that LMPD is retaliating against him because of the previous suit and his testimony on behalf of another officer who also sued the city.

In June, Morgan, according to the lawsuit, applied for an open position in the department’s Complaint Response Unit, but was not selected, despite being the most qualified applicant.

And Morgan claims he has been improperly disciplined by LMPD officials in recent months.

"There is a conscious course of conduct to run him out of the department," said attorney Thomas Clay, who represents Morgan. "It’s a shame that one of the highest producing narcotics detectives has been relegated to the ranks of patrol officer through retaliation against him for trying to exonerate an innocent woman."

Morgan’s initial lawsuit claimed he was demoted for helping a Spencer County woman named Jean King, who was in prison for the 1998 murder of Kyle Breeden.

During a separate investigation of a man named Richard Thomas Jarrell Jr., for firing a shotgun into a house, Jarrell told Morgan and other detectives he’d killed Breeden and described details about the murder.

Morgan, with permission from his supervisor, former LMPD Lt. Richard Pearson, contacted the Kentucky Innocence Project on behalf of King.

The Kentucky State Police complained to LMPD Chief Steve Conrad, who initiated an investigation.

Morgan was transferred from the narcotics unit and "forced to return to street patrol," according to this week’s lawsuit.

In April 2014, the city settled with Morgan in his retaliation case for $450,000.

Morgan then testified on behalf of Lt. Pearson, who also sued the city, claiming retaliation. A jury sided against Pearson.

Charges were eventually dismissed against King.

In June, Morgan was passed over for a job in the department’s Complaint Response Unit despite being "unquestionably the best candidate" for the job, according to the suit. He was also punished for alleged infractions in which other officers involved were not disciplined.

“It’s despicable,” Clay said of the department's treatment of Morgan.

LMPD officials, who typically do not comment on pending litigation, did not immediately return an e-mail asking about the lawsuit.

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

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