Updated 09/24/2012 09:11 PM
Testimony continues in Ithaca Police Department lawsuit
Heated testimony in the courtroom Monday as attorneys battled with witnesses over exactly why Ithaca police officer Chris Miller was suspended from duty. Miller is suing the department for discrimination and retaliation. YNN's Tamara Lindstrom has more.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Is he a victim of an iron fisted administration or an unfit officer who should have been fired years ago?
The defense takes aim at the complainant's portrayal of Ithaca police officer Chris Miller as an innocent whistleblower.
In an effort to prove damages in his discrimination lawsuit against the department, Miller's therapist took the stand in federal court Monday. She relayed to the jury the difficulties Miller experienced as a result of the stress he faced from superiors and testified that she diagnosed him with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, agoraphobia, major depression and panic attacks.
Miller claims he was retaliated against, bullied and ostracized after filing a discrimination complaint with the Human Rights Division. His attorney said of department leadership quote, “They have decided to destroy him, his reputation and his career."
But the defense called Miller's role as a victim into question, pointing out that he was disciplined and nearly fired for his role in destroying a homeless encampment known as "the jungle" before ever filing a complaint.
The defense said Miller lied blatantly and repeatedly on employment applications and an autobiography he wrote during training at the Broome County Law Enforcement Academy and that discipline he received while working for the police was deserved.
Miller is suing for $19 million in damages. The trial is expected to last two weeks.