FAYETTEVILLE — A former town police officer in Gauley Bridge is suing the town, claiming he was fired for refusing to write illegal traffic tickets to boost the town's budget.

Malcolm Cottrell filed a complaint on May 31 in Fayette Circuit Court against Gauley Bridge, alleging that town wrongfully terminated his employment.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on Oct. 2, 2014, he was terminated by the defendant because he refused to participate in an unlawful conduct, particularly writing illegal traffic tickets to increase the town's budget. After he was discharged, he was not given his wages and benefits within four business days, he alleges. The plaintiff holds Gauley Bridge responsible because the defendant allegedly instructed the plaintiff to do an illegal assignment and then failed to pay him in the manner he was entitled to.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks an amount equal to loss of all back pay and employment benefits, reinstatement to his former employment or front pay; compensatory damages for embarrassment, emotional distress and mental anguish; punitive damages for the intentional and willfull violation of public policy; award of attorney fees and costs; and such further equitable and legal relief as the court deems just and proper. He is represented by G. Patrick Jacobs of The Law Offices of G. Patrick Jacobs, LC in Charleston.

Fayette Circuit Court Case number 16-c-157

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