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City seeks to dismiss Finn lawsuit

Boulder City is hoping a federal judge will dismiss a lawsuit former Police Chief Tom Finn has filed against the city, claiming he was discriminated against because of his religion.

Finn, who was fired in April 2013 after seven years as the city’s police chief, said in his lawsuit that he was let go because he was not Mormon or perform favors for those who were members of the church.

“We certainly believe the claim is valid,” Finn’s attorney, Sean Flanagan, said. “It’s for the courts to determine whether Mr. Finn is successful or not.”

In his 30-page lawsuit filed Nov. 3, Finn cited several examples where he felt the city acted in a reprehensible manner, including being asked by members of the City Council to break rules and treat Mormon church members differently.

The suit also addresses issues of breach of contract and violations of the Family Medical Leave Act and is seeking back wages, the amount of which will be determined by the court, and compensation for past and future loses based on the unlawful employment practices.

Jeffrey Pitegoff, who is representing Boulder City, filed the motion to dismiss Feb. 18. The motion stated that the majority of Finn’s complaints were irrelevant and replete with hearsay and self-serving statements.

Flanagan said he plans to file a response to the city’s motion soon. Federal Judge Jennifer Dorsey will rule on the motion at a later date.

All five council members are defendants in the lawsuit, as is City Attorney Dave Olsen. An excerpt from Finn’s complaint referenced Olsen’s involvement in his son’s previous civil suit against Boulder City where Olsen served as an expert witness.

In September, the Nevada Ethics Commission decided that Olsen committed a willful violation for his involvement and fined him $1,500.

Pitegoff did not return calls for comment.

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.

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