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On Former police sergeant's federal lawsuit against city alleges racial discrimination, wrongful termination

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Lemonroe 1 year, 1 month ago

To All,

There are clearly many of you out there who are completely ignorant about the facts of the case, and maybe, should reconsider commenting until you have more information. I would like to set the record straight:

  1. There was NEVER a police policy against helping someone out of a ticket (prior to several months ago when it was first made against policy). When Mike agreed to help Matt help his friend get out of these tickets, he did NOTHING wrong according to police policy. So to you people who said that "fixing" tickets was illegal - you are WRONG! Get your facts right.

  2. Mike has NEVER been disciplined in his 20 years on the Lawrence police force. He had a spotless record until this case. As someone who has been a prosecuter for 11 out of my 16 years of criminal practice, I can tell you this is RARE. Mike is one of the most honest, kind, and ethical people you will EVER meet, should you be so blessed to do so. During their investigation the police department tried to find anyone who had anything bad to say about him or had any grievances agains him and they failed.

  3. The grievance committe, who the department and Mike took his case to, found there there was NO CONNECTION between Mike having access to tickets, and the tickets the traffic tickets that Matt had dismissed. In fact, there are YEARS between the tickets being dismissed and Mike's access to any game tickets. This is why they agreed that Mike should be reinstated, but the city manager overturned their decision - for no stated reason, btw.

  4. The police chief finally had to agree that there was NO evidence that Mike recieved a benefit for helping Matt. However, they felt that Mike, as Matt's friend, should have known that something was going on. Really?? Oh yes, I'm sure all of you already understand that the police department investigated this SAME issue several years ago between Matt and this booster and DID NOTHING!! It was only after another law enforcement agency came in that they looked at this again and decided that Mike "should have known" something was fishy, when they had investigated the same behavior and found nothing wrong!

  5. As to the "race card" you people claim that Mike is playing. I would LOVE to know how many of you are black? Would those people speak up and I will address them personally.

There are A LOT more facts to support just how insane this entire process has been. The city has absolutely NO EVIDENCE to support that Mike recieved ANY benefit from helping Matt out. It doesn't warrant getting into the additional details with you people - why don't you actually read Mike's petition and you'll see for yourselves. I love how you read the city's version and assume it to be true.

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biggunz 1 year, 1 month ago

I find it hard to believe he was promoted to Sargent and was discriminated against because of his race.

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reality_check79 1 year, 1 month ago

I don't have a problem with a couple speeding tickets getting fixed... Kind of making a mountain out of an ant hill here... This happens in every city(cops fixing a couple minor speeding tickets for friends and family) all across the country and probably still here in Lawrence... If he never got tickets, I don't see the issue... He wasn't fixing drug busts, wife beaters, DUI's (we know how much hell gets raised for those first time offenders), or even the hated red bud lane busts we hear about on a weekly basis... These were just speeding tickets, if you can find that he indeed only fixed a "few" and never received any type of compensation he should of never of been let go... I look at it like this, we have all done something stupid at some point at work and got written up or warned, maybe even suspended... I don't see how the case with this officer is any different... I know I have received "warnings" from officers many times for speeding and probably deserved a ticket...

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

Is Rodney Jones the only person in the history of LPD that was able to get tickets fixed?

Or is it because of Rodney Jones that that this situation has surfaced?

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LeBo 1 year, 1 month ago

Why are you asking the taxpayers to pay? Just sue the Chief, he got money, I don't!

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greenworld 1 year, 1 month ago

Pretty sure the lawsuit probly started as wrongful termination, the whole racial discrimation thing was probly added by attorneys advice being it could make him more money and its something that sticks better than just wrongful termination as we all know that you can be fired for anything and there is nothing that can be done about it. I think he has the right idea to where if he can go against his best friend (the white guy) they can split the money in the end. Seen much stranger things happen in my life. The fact is whats sad was the whole damn department under Olin had alot of corruption in it and these two guys just happen to be the fall guys and they were two of the best in the department. Just remember its only cheating if u get caught, just ask Tiger Woods.

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lawupsman 1 year, 1 month ago

My dad always asked me "if you're friend asked you to jump off a cliff would you"?

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Gotland 1 year, 1 month ago

Money grab? Sounds like every other public union employee. Who cares?

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Charlie Bannister 1 year, 1 month ago

Good heavens I do believe I am living in a sort of alternate universe at times. LA cop Dorner was fired for LYING. Monroe was fired for FIXING TICKETS. I do NOT WANT law enforcement personnel lying or fixing tickets for ANYONE. These are fireable offenses and reek of dishonesty. Don't care if you are a "nice guy" or not. It is time to move on Mr. Monroe, the sooner the better. You should have learned your lesson and just went on to the next job. After all you are not barred from working in law enforcement in this state again are you? But in this day and age everyone has an ax to grind don't they? Get over yourself Monroe and stop the stupidity. Take personal responsibility and MOVE ON!!!!!

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Patriot2 1 year, 1 month ago

Way to go! Open that "race" door as wide as possible......... at the same time admitting to fixing one or two tickets.......... And wonder WHY the good police officers have to work twice as hard to win trust and respect? Monroe should be ashamed of himself for violating public trust.

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kujayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

I know the family very well and I'm shocked and saddened they decided to play the race card. I thought Mike was above using race as an excuse for a money grab.

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toe 1 year, 1 month ago

Sure hope this does not turn into another rampage and declaration of war. When a former weapons carrier is fired they should be banned from owning a firearm for public safety.

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nekansan 1 year, 1 month ago

The more relevant question might be what disciplinary action has been taken against other officers who have "fixed" tickets for members of our community in the same time span? It seems that Monroe simply had a few speeding tickets dismissed as a favor to another officer, Bad judgement perhaps, but massive criminal conspiracy I think not. I'd bet he is far from the first officer to do so. If that is the case his disciplinary action should be consistent with other officers that have done the same. I'm betting it was not. And that means a problem for the city.

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Thinking_Out_Loud 1 year, 1 month ago

I believe most of us here are looking at this from the wrong perspective. The issue is not "did this person deserve to be fired" or "did this person do something wrong." The issue here is, "given the situation, was this person treated equally as other similarly situated people?" Assuming the answer is "no," the next question is "if not, was this person's race the reason he was not treated equally?"

We are also trying to decide this case without having all the facts in front of us. Fortunately for all of us, persons with more legal training, more expertise in the area of identifying the key questions to answer and finding the answers, and more time to get to the truth of the matter than those of us commenting here will actually decide this case. After reading fifteen or so paragraphs about it, I certainly don't feel qualified to say whether or not either wrongful termination or racial discrimination occurred.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

I believe the issue implied was bribery. I'm surmise a lot of tickets get "fixed" BUT without bribery.

If only Sarna was accepting tickets why would Officer Monroe be terminated?

Do lawyers get paid to fix tickets? or have the infraction reduced or whatever?

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thebigspoon 1 year, 1 month ago

His sister is an attorney, I am sure he has an idea about what he is doing ?????

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mcrckchlk 1 year, 1 month ago

20 years serving the force... if he was fired because of his race I'm quite certain they would've done it sooner. Sounds like he's just trying to start a bunch of hoopla so he can make a quick money grab.

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theoljhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Wow! Wait a minute, the other guy that was fired/forced to resign/quit/whatever, he was white! Hey, sounds like reverse discrimination to me! Sounds like he has a case too!

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Bob Forer 1 year, 1 month ago

Although our culture has come a long way in the last half century regarding civil rights, there is no denying that isolated pockets of institutionalized racial discrimination still exist, especially in the South. However, to the best of knowledge, the Chief of Police is hardly a racist, and I surmise there were justifiable reasons for the dismissal. Playing the "race card" without a justifiable basis diminishes the plight of the folks who are still subject to racial discrimination, and is just as ugly as the real discrimination itself.

I have never met Officer Moore, and although he sounds like somebody who was well-liked and well respected by many people, he made a very grave mistake and needs to move on. IMHO.

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Scut Farkus 1 year, 1 month ago

Actually, he may have a case for wrongful termination. Why was he demoted and fired while the other guy, who was actually receiving the tickets, was allowed to resign? Believe me the difference has a major impact in getting future employment. I don't know about the racial discrimination part unless he has some hard evidence to back him up. i.e. text messages, email, voice mail etc. etc to prove his case.

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ghostofrealityspeaks 1 year, 1 month ago

Come on Mike, let it go. You are making yourself look like a fool. The race card, really? I guess your promotion and all the other assignments you held during your tenure were because of racism. Some would say you got those assignments because of your skin color. Now to say you experienced racism is just a complete joke. You were offered a demotion and that was an insult to your ego so you sealed your own fate. Knowing how tight you and Sarna were, it's hard to believe you were not more involved. I wish you the best in moving on with your life but you need to this go. The days of law enforcement are behind you.

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PwopellewCap 1 year, 1 month ago

Race card? Really? I bet I know who his atty is.

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neworleans 1 year, 1 month ago

Its all about the money..........

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lunacydetector 1 year, 1 month ago

sgt. monroe is an upstanding likeable guy. i hope he prevails in his lawsuit.

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maisy 1 year, 1 month ago

You people have no clue what actualy happened, but yet you have condemed a man for what you believe is gospel from the media's mouth. He might admit to fixing a ticket, but from the request of Sarna. Monroe might have had the ability to fix the ticket, to where Sarna did not. Sarna's friend was issued a ticket and Monroe helped his friend (Sarna). It gets no more detailed than that, but yet you say he broke the law. There was no law broken here, maybe policy, if it is so written in the departments policy.

Everyone is quick to degrade a cop because he is held to a higher moral, but heaven forbid we hate the fireman, cause they save lives you know. ....and cops don't?

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colicole81 1 year, 1 month ago

If this truly was a case of discrimination why is he just now bringing it up? It's funny that the race card wasn't played until all of his other hands had been dealt. As I've said in the past Mike needs to move on. Other people may or may not have been involved. The ones that were involved all played a different role and were disciplined accordingly. He made a mistake, he needs to take responsibility, stop blaming everyone else and making excuses. Lawrence doesn't want him back. He treated people unfairly all because a friend asked him to. If I would have asked him to fix my ticket would he? No, of course not. MOVE ON! Matt Sarna resigned "involuntary", which means he was fired. Mike was just demoted, which means he still had a job. It sounds like maybe Matt could file a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination because where I come from having a job beats being unemployed any day.

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rockchalk1977 1 year, 1 month ago

A city employee paid to enforce laws has broken the law. "Nice guy" or not, he should have been terminated immediately no question. I hope the city doesn't cave and settle this for political correctness reasons. The hard working taxpayers of Lawrence don't deserve to be shaken down by a cop with a chip.

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Matthew Herbert 1 year, 1 month ago

'though I admit that I broke police department policy, I'm sure I was fired because of my race'. I hope that case gets as much attention as it doesn't deserve. Ridiculous. The principle of 'crying wolf' seems to be at play here - the more times people wrongfully claim racial discrimination at work the less actual attention REAL racial discrimination cases will get.

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rlmtyco 1 year, 1 month ago

I hope everything works out for Mike, he is a very nice guy and good person. Regardless of what he has done or didnt do I wish him the best. He coached me in little league baseball and have had some dealings with him while he was a police officer. Always very pleasant to be around. Hope it works out in your favor Mike

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Keith Richards 1 year, 1 month ago

Play the race card after they find you fixing tickets. Where were the allegations of racial slurs BEFORE you were caught doing something unethical and against department protocol?

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ironhead80 1 year, 1 month ago

Why did he fix tickets for Jones is it because he was a brotha or was it because he was a friend and a brotha? Move on!

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otto 1 year, 1 month ago

They used different means to fire the white guy but involuntary resignation sounds like a firing.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 1 year, 1 month ago

Wow. Dude needs to take his medicine and MOVE ON.

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WoodsB 1 year, 1 month ago

But he only fixed two or three tickets guys.

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Pepe 1 year, 1 month ago

LOL -- the cop who admits to fixing tickets was working in the "office of professional accountability"?

The fact that he has admitted to fixing tickets while working as a cop is more than sufficient grounds for his termination.

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