Archive for Thursday, May 12, 2011

Eudora woman sues Overland Park for discrimination related to bipolar disorder

May 12, 2011


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.


GUMnNUTS 7 years ago

Why would anyone want a police officer diagnosed with bipolar to be a public servant?

In the context of bipolar disorder, a mixed state is a condition during which symptoms of mania and clinical depression occur simultaneously.[19] Typical examples include tearfulness during a manic episode or racing thoughts during a depressive episode. Individuals may also feel incredibly frustrated in this state, since one may feel like a failure and at the same time have a flight of ideas. Mixed states are often the most dangerous period of mood disorders, during which substance abuse, panic disorder, suicide attempts, and other complications increase greatly.[20]

Ron Holzwarth 7 years ago

"tearfulness during a manic episode or racing thoughts during a depressive episode."

I believe you have that backwards.

ACO187 6 years, 11 months ago


Why would you want liars, wholly self-serving sociopaths, people of ZERO integrity, people of willfull ignorance, and moral cowards as police officers?

You think they are public servants? Hilarious! They are SELF-SERVANTS who waste a whole lot of taxpayer money spinning their subterfuge. The "higher up" they are, the more evil they are. And the little badged minions just follow like slugs.

The BEST public servants upset the Overland Park Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of mediocrity, deceit and refusal to worship/flatter the chief.

And he is an arrogant man who needs his flattery.

I was there. I watched and endured. I know.

I refused.

xclusive85 7 years ago

What is with the work history. An officer in Lawrence for only a month? Something doesn't add up. Did she have an episode with the LPD? Maybe the bipolar did affect her abilities to perform job functions.

brendab1214 7 years ago

Perhaps I can answer this for you.....she has 3 children that she just happened to want to spend as much time with as she could so she wanted a position that would be closer to home and less traveling time. She thoroughly enjoyed working at the Overland Park PD and realized there was so much difference in how Police Depts are handled and decided to go back there. They graciously offered her the position back that she had and THAT is why she was only at the Lawrence PD for 1 month, not wanting to take the chance that her position might be filled if she waited. Also, she had many commendations while at the Overland Park PD!! There are many different types of bipolar disorders...5 to be exact!! Perhaps you and the previous commentator should check that out before assuming anything. When 5 doctors wrote letters stating she was more than qualified to continue with her duties, that should speak for itself. I should know, I am her mother.

Dirtman24 7 years ago

AMEN and enough said. I have BP and I am doing well. Thank you very very much for standing up for us. God Bless You!!

ACO187 6 years, 12 months ago

I also filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Overland Park and its police department for violations of the ADA. If Kim needs the audio recording I have of a high-ranking Overland Park human resources person confessing that the City of Overland Park discriminates just because they know they can, then I'd be happy to share.

In fact, I have lots that I could share.

It's amazing to me that the same mayor is allowing the same police chief a repeat performance of arrogant, stupid subterfuge and incompetent leadership. John Douglass is a liar to the core, and the little uniformed cowards, and suited lawyers, and fawning city council members who tolerate Douglass are of the exact same moral vacuousness as he. Nobody polices the police in Overland Park. Douglass and friends were liars and evil 5 years ago, and they are liars and evil now.

Maybe some of the cowards who have retired since 2006 - Veatch, Porter, etc. - will come forward with the truth this time since John can't punish them anymore.

How many instances of federal ADA -related lawsuits does it take to establish a pattern? Overland Park gives whole new levels of meaning to the designation of "pigs." And it's because of their snorting leader. AGAIN.

ACO187 6 years, 11 months ago


What Overland Park has done to your daughter is a REPEAT PERFORMANCE for the city and its police department. The despicable discrimination begins with John Douglass and drips down at his command. He may be a smart man, but he is not a good man. That drips downward also.

Your daughter's lawyer has my contact information. She should contact me - even about the lawyers out there. Funny things happen to many of them on the way to challenging Overland Park...

If she would allow a message to her via Facebook, I will contact her.

ACO187 6 years, 11 months ago


It is only your PRESUMPTIONS that do not "add up."

Soapy 7 years ago

On behalf of bipolars everywhere, THANK YOU Ms. Ashley for having the balls to stand up for our rights. You're sending a message loud and clear that BP is a treatable medical condition. And, THANK YOU for your service and dedication to our communities. Officers that understand the challenges faced by the mentally ill are an asset, not a liability.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

"How many instances of federal ADA related lawsuits does it take to establish a pattern?"

Probably quite a few:

Acute stress disorder
Adjustment disorders
alcohol and substance abuse
alcohol and substance dependence
Anxiety disorders
Anorexia nervosa
Antisocial personality disorder
Asperger's syndrome, also known as Asperger's disorder
Attention deficit disorder
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Avoidant personality disorder
Binge eating disorder (proposed)
Bipolar disorder
Body dysmorphic disorder
Borderline personality disorder
Brief psychotic disorder
Bulimia nervosa
Conduct disorder
Conversion disorder
Cyclothymia (or Cyclothymic disorder)
Delusional disorder
Dependent personality disorder
Depersonalization disorder
Disorder of written expression
Dissociative fugue
Dissociative identity disorder
Dysthymic disorder
Enuresis (bedwetting)
Expressive language disorder
Female and male orgasmic disorders
Female sexual arousal disorder
Folie à deux
Gender identity disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder
General adaptation syndrome
Histrionic personality disorder
Hyperactivity disorder
Primary hypersomnia
Hypoactive sexual desire disorder
Hyperkinetic syndrome
Intermittent explosive disorder
Joubert syndrome
Male erectile disorder
Munchausen syndrome
Mathematics disorder
Multiple personality disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder
Nightmare disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
Oppositional defiant disorder
Pain disorder
Panic attacks
Panic disorder
Paranoid personality disorder
Pathological gambling
Pervasive Developmental Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Premature ejaculation
Primary insomnia
Psychotic disorder, not otherwise specified
Reading disorder
Retts disorder
Rumination disorder
Schizoaffective disorder
Schizoid personality disorder
Schizophreniform disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder
Seasonal affective disorder
Separation anxiety disorder
Shared psychotic disorder
Sleep disorder
Sleep terror disorder
Sleepwalking disorder
Social phobia
Somatization disorder
Specific phobias
Stereotypic movement disorder
Tourette syndrome
Transient tic disorder

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

Many of the above are treatable conditions, provided that the person involved is not affected to severely, spends some time in a mental health ward once in a while, takes medications, and receives counselling regularly.

But, where do you draw the line?

And, at whose expense?

ACO187 6 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

ACO187 6 years, 11 months ago

@ RonHolzwarth:

Your list has nothing to do with the question. You clearly have a severe disorder of logic.

ACO187 6 years, 11 months ago

@ RonHoltzworth:

I was disallowed from being blunt about your complete misapprehension of the topic at hand.

Federal ADA law mandates that a person must be able to do the job, with OR without any accommodation(s). It seems that you have misunderstood these federal lawsuits as being the attempts of inept, unqualified employees to keep jobs that required a level of performance that these litigants could not and did not produce.

That is wholly incorrect, sir.

The lawsuits are public record. Please review their contents before charging forth with your inaccurate and condescending presumptions.

tomatogrower 6 years, 11 months ago

My father was bipolar, and my mother would not allow guns in the house, because of it. He was fine during treatment, but he often would fall off, and talk about suicide. I think it's great she is getting help, but maybe a job not around guns would be much more practical. And yes, this liberal thinks we taxpayers should help her pay for some more job training.

BigPrune 6 years, 11 months ago

A person with bipolar disorder, a mental illness that cannot be cured, should not be wearing a gun to work. Sure, they might act normally most of the time, but as a cop, no way. The doctors cannot even treat depression effectively, using a hit or miss technique with medications to see what might work.

from webmd

"In general, research shows that women tend to experience more periods of depression than men. In bipolar disorder, women are more likely to develop the type bipolar II -- meaning they never develop severe mania, but instead have milder episodes of hypomania that alternate with depression.

Women are also at higher risk for rapid cycling, which means having four or more mood episodes in one year. Varying levels of sex hormones and activity of the thyroid gland in the neck -- together with the tendency to be prescribed antidepressants -- may contribute to rapid cycling, researchers believe."

ACO187 6 years, 11 months ago

"Disorders" were not the officers, and "disorders" did not file the federal lawsuits.

Federal ADA law - and lawsuits relative to it - are NOT about letting people get or keep jobs for which they are unqualified, with OR WITHOUT accommodation. You have to be qualified, period.

Do any of you think that lying (I once watched a major under oath lie, lie, lie!), manipulation of evidence/cases, sexual misconduct, abuse of power, etc. should be disqualifiers for police department employees?

They aren't.

Unless, perhaps, something of the scum seeps out and embarrasses the chief.

The more likely scenario is that you will lose your law enforcement job if you have integrity and something good seeps out and hands the lie to the chief and his puppets.

I know. I was there. Were you?

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