The former police chief of Monroeville has filed a civil suit against the municipality, the interim manager and four council members, arguing that they orchestrated his demotion to sergeant.
Doug Cole filed a suit against council members Diane Allison, Bernhard Erb, Lois Drumheller and Clarence Ramsey; interim manager Lynette McKinney; and the municipality, claiming breach of contract, tortious interference with contractual relations and violations of the Sunshine Act.
Sgt. Cole is seeking monetary damages from the municipality for a loss of salary and benefits; monetary damages from the council members and interim manager for contractual losses and punitive damages; and an award for legal fees and relief as the court sees fit.
The suit also asks that the court determine the legality of meetings the council members held, as well as Sgt. Cole's demotion.
Mayor Greg Erosenko said the legal fees of the five named in Sgt. Cole's suit will be covered by the municipality.
"So there is more tax payer money going out the window," he said.
Mr. Ramsey was the only person named in the suit to answer calls for comment. He said he would deal with the proceedings as they come.
Sgt. Cole was removed "without cause" Feb. 1 from the position of police chief, which he had held since February 2010.
Mr. Erosenko said he is "absolutely in support" of Sgt. Cole's lawsuit and would like to see him assume at least the position of assistant chief.
"Doug should definitely be our chief of police. ... He's just a good cop." he said.
Lexi Belculfine: email@example.com or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc.