MARTINSBURG -- A former Martinsburg Police Department lieutenant is suing the City of Martinsburg after he claims it violated West Virginia Code.

Mark S. Baldwin, the city manager for the City of Martinsburg, and Kevin Miller, the Chief of Police for the City of Martinsburg, were also named as defendants in the suit.

On April 9, Barbara A. Bartley, who was then serving as captain in the police department, and Baldwin notified John Sherman Jr. that he was dismissed from his employment as a police officer, according to a complaint filed June 16 in Berkeley Circuit Court.

Sherman claims their decision was based on an off-duty incident that happend on Aug. 6, 2009. He claims at the time he struck a man who he believed was engaging in inappropriate communications with is wife and as a result of the incident, he was charged with misdemeanor battery.

In response to the notice of termination, Sherman requested a pre-disciplinary hearing board. The hearing board does not comply with West Virginia Code because none of its members are of the same rank as Sherman, according to the suit.

Sherman is seeking for the court to issue an immediate ex parte temporary restraining order prohibiting the defendants from proceeding with his hearing board, pending a hearing before the court on his request for a preliminary injunction; a preliminary injunction within 10 days from the date of the temporary restraining order; and for the court to grant a preliminary injunction against the defendants prohibiting them from proceeding with his hearing board, pending a final decision on the merits. He is being represented by Barry P. Beck.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number: 10-C-476

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