CHARLESTON - A Kanawha Circuit judge ordered one of the two Charleston police officers who is suing Mayor Danny Jones over not being promoted in a timely fashion to amend her complaint.

At a June 23 hearing, Judge Irene Berger told Valerie Strege and her attorney, Nathan Hicks, that just because extra money came available in the city's budget, it did not mean a job opening was filed.

Berger told Strege and Hicks they have two weeks to respond, and City Attorney Paul Ellis will have two weeks to respond after that.

Jones, Police Chief Brent Webster, the Police Civil Service Commission and its President George Henderson, Vice President Thomas Smith and Commissioner Lew Tyree are listed as defendants in the lawsuit.

Robert E. Brown filed a similar lawsuit against the same defendants.

Strege, a sergeant, says she was overlooked for the position of lieutenant in 2005. The defense's Motion to Dismiss says she was overlooked because she finished 10th out of 13 applicants on an examination given to officers eligible for promotion.

"Petitioner's name had not risen to the top of the list to be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant prior to the expiration of the 2003 list and the administration of the 2005 promotion examination," the Motion says.

The lawsuits of Strege and Brown both were filed in February. Brown argues that he was overlooked for a promotion to corporal. The Motion to Dismiss argues that Brown finished 22nd out of 35 patrolmen eligible to become corporals on a 2003 exam. On the 2005 test, he was 21st out of 40.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-299

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