A Eudora resident is suing the city of Overland Park in federal court, claiming the police department discriminated against her under the Americans with Disabilities Act when she worked there as an officer.
An attorney for Kimberly Ashley, who worked as an Overland Park officer from May 2006 to May 2008 and August 2008 to December 2009 filed the suit Tuesday and alleged Ashley’s employment was terminated because department leaders didn’t believe she could perform essential functions of her job due to her bipolar disorder.
The suit alleges Ashley was reassigned in February or March of 2009 from patrol to working on special assignment where she helped train officers and dispatchers. After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in June 2009, her doctor said Ashley “was capable of performing all duties of a patrol officer,” the suit alleges, but she was not allowed to return to patrol.
Her attorney also claimed the department denied her requests to be given permanent positions in the training division or as a dispatcher, and the suit asks for damages including back pay, reinstatement or front pay, compensatory damages and other costs.
Overland Park police officials did not return a message Wednesday seeking comment.
According to the suit, Ashley left the department in May 2008 for the Lawrence Police Department but she returned to Overland Park months later. A city of Lawrence human resources staffer said Ashley was employed as an officer from July 6, 2008, to Aug. 14, 2008.