ALSO: Selkirk man sues town for $75 M, names several BPD officers
A Bethlehem Police officer on disability has filed a lawsuit against the town and against Police Chief Louis Corsi, in a move that could be part of an effort to get back on active duty.
Christopher Hughes filed the lawsuit through his attorney on Dec. 9. It seeks compensation for damages, punitive damages against Corsi, as well as a clean record for Hughes that does not mention disciplinary charges that have been brought against him. The suit also asks that the department fairly consider [Hughes] for positions for which he qualifies without retaliation, indicating Hughes may be trying to rejoin the force.
Hughes referred questions to his attorney, who had not returned calls as of press time.
Hughes was brought up on two sets of disciplinary charges during his time on the force. They were later dismissed through arbitration, and he also claims his brother (a sergeant on the police force) told Hughes he would be passed over for K-9 handler position because of his involvement in the police union's collective bargaining negotiations with the town.
The suit accuses the department, and Corsi specifically, of retaliating against Hughes for his involvement in the police union and for going to town administration and the press with allegations Corsi had uttered a racial slur on a taped phone conversation from his office.
That tape was later found, and Corsi was issued a 10-day suspension without pay.
Town Attorney James Potter said the case has been passed on to the town's insurance carrier, and added the department took disciplinary actions on substantiated issues.
"Based on everything we have seen, the police department took action for proper reasons," he said.
Hughes has been on medical leave from the department, and last year was placed on job-related disability leave, which would possibly allow him to collect a full salary until retirement age.