Former Bradford City Police officer Shayne Miller is asking a federal judge to allow him to amend his federal lawsuit against the city, adding allegations that his firing violated Bradford city code.
His attorney, John Mizner of Erie, told The Era on Wednesday that the amended complaint alleged that city council did not act on Miller’s termination, despite city code indicating that was required.
“When we began our investigation, we could not determine what role the Bradford City Council played in the wrongful termination of Mr. Miller,” Mizner said.
He submitted a Right-to-Know request to the city looking for any documentation, summary or minutes of action taken by council relating to Miller’s termination. He said he got a letter back from Teri Cannon, city administrator, saying “no such records existed.”
Mizner said, “It is reasonable to conclude that the Bradford City Council was never presented with a recommendation related to Mr. Miller's termination nor did it approve his termination.”
City code, he added, indicated that only city council can approve the termination of a civil servant. In this case, the suit alleged, Police Chief Chris Lucco and Mayor Tom Riel ended Miller’s employment without council’s input.
“This is yet another example of how Mr. Miller's right to due process was denied by city officials,” Mizner alleged.
The lawsuit alleged that Lucco and terminated Miller’s employment with the city after he had been charged with shoplifting meat from Walmart. Miller was exonerated of the charges, but had been terminated from employment before the case was resolved.
Lucco could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Riel said, “I have been advised by legal counsel not to comment on the suit itself.”
MIller has also filed suit against Walmart, alleging the self-checkout lanes did not have appropriate customer safety mechanisms to prevent errors in scanning; and that the employee monitor did not assist him, but waited until he left the store and reported him for shoplifting, the suit alleged.