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Published On: Sat, Apr 27th, 2013

Police officer Jason Servo fired for DUI, files $6 million lawsuit which alleges alcoholism a disability

A former Oregon police officer fired after a DUI arrest is suing the city for $6 million, claiming his alcoholism is a disability that can’t be used as a reason for termination.

Officer Jason Servo was arrested in January of 2011 after driving a department vehicle into a ditch while intoxicated. After a lengthy investigation, Servo was fired from the police department a few months later after serving for twelve years on the force.

Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons

Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons

The lawsuit claims Chief Craig Junginger made false claims and statements during the investigation into Servo’s arrest, while the police union failed to adequately represent him.

It also states Servo is diagnosed with alcohol addiction, so while he violated general orders by driving drunk and getting arrested, his attorney contends that cannot be used as a reason to fire him.

“He is afflicted with a significant disability recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Oregon Law,” according to the lawsuit, which later states, “Plaintiff is disabled and due to that disability is limited in one or more major life activities.”

In a press conference Friday, Servo spoke about his addiction.

“There were times I went home and I couldn’t get crime scenes out of my head,” he said. “I went to drinking for that and there’s other officers that do the same thing.”

The lawsuit alleges Servo was not the only officer drinking while carrying his weapon and badge into several of the bars on the McMenamins campus in January 2011.

“This was also in keeping with the department custom and policy,” the lawsuit states.

“Due to the significant amount of alcohol he had consumed, Plaintiff has no clear recollection of events of that evening,” the lawsuit states.

Servo attempted to drive away, but soon crashed an official police department Chevrolet Blazer into a ditch. A Clackamas County deputy investigated and cited Servo for DUII and someone else drove him home.

He entered and completed a diversion program. His attorneys said he has not consumed alcohol since January 2011.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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