Former policeman claims bias
A former New Castle police sergeant who was terminated more than a year ago in an incident involving the shooting of a family dog has filed a notice of intent to sue the town for $950,000.The town fired Edward J. Wilks in December 2003, after the dog was shot and killed under his authority. Wilks maintained that the dog was “vicious” after one of his officers captured it running at large. Nine shots were fired at the dog as it attempted to run away from containment in a police patrol car. Wilks appealed, and a final hearing in February 2004 by the town’s four-person Public Safety Committee upheld the decision in a 3-1 vote.In a notice of claim filed in mid-June, which shows intent to file a lawsuit, Wilks said through his attorney, David H. Miller of King & Greisen LLP of Denver, that he was fired due to his religious beliefs and the fact that he is Mormon.”On information and belief, Sergeant Wilks was terminated from his employment because of his religious beliefs and membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,” Miller wrote in the letter.Wilks is also seeking damages, saying in the notice of claim that the wrongful treatment of him by the New Castle Police Department and the town of New Castle led to his wife having a miscarriage at the beginning of June 2004 and interfered with “the marital relationship of the Wilks and caused each of them emotional distress and pain and suffering.”Town Administrator Steve Rippy said he could not comment on the case.”They filed a notice of claim and the town disputes the claim,” Rippy said. “But because of the pending litigation, I cannot comment any further.”Miller said he and his client are still waiting to hear from the town’s attorney on the matter.”The bottom line is that the town decided to discipline (Wilks) in bad faith,” Miller said. “This was a hard-working officer for New Castle. He did his best to protect the citizens of New Castle.”Miller said if he doesn’t receive word from the town, he is prepared to go forward with the lawsuit.Miller said if he doesn’t receive word from the town, he is prepared to go forward with the lawsuit.
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