City lieutenant civil suit moves step forward

A city police lieutenant civil lawsuit in U.S. Middle District Court against the city and other current and former police officers has moved a step forward in court.

U.S. Middle District Judge Malachy E. Mannion Thursday denied a pending motion to dismiss Steven Helm’s complaint. The motion to dismiss had been filed by former police Chief Gregory Foresman, former police captain and assistant Chief Timothy Miller and current police Chief David J. Young.

Helm, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 29, alleges civil violations of an officer’s right to free speech, right to free association and a violation of both department policy and the state Labor Relations law.

Throughout the 18-page complaint, Helm alleges a hostile work environment and potential violation of his rights of free speech and free association.

Helm alleges incidents in the complaint in which individuals openly expressed their antagonism toward him and members of the local police union.

Young suspended Helm five days for violations regarding alleged dissemination of confidential department information, according to the suit.

Helm is asking for injunctive relief and wants the court to direct the city to close the pending open disciplinary investigation.

He wants the city to rescind the five days without pay suspension and to remove any reference of discipline matters from his personnel file and other relief permitted by law.