- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 25, 2017

DETROIT (AP) - A state trooper has accused the Michigan State Police of discriminating against him based on the perception that he is an alcoholic.

Craig Tuer, 48, filed a lawsuit July 17 for discrimination and retaliation under the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act and the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, the Detroit Free Press (https://on.freep.com/2uTRBFN ) reported.

The suit alleged Tuer attended a 2014 Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, where he shared that troopers in the Sex Offender Registry Enforcement Unit drank and drove state vehicles during training sessions. Tuer thought his story was protected by a vow of confidentiality but another attendee reported the infractions to police, prompting an internal investigation.

“One of the tenets of AA is that things discussed at AA meetings are confidential and are not to be shared outside AA meetings,” the lawsuit stated. “Tuer always honored the vow of confidentiality; unfortunately, one person did not.”

Tuer said he told his sergeant he was the likely source of the information and asked for a chance to apologize to colleagues.

The agency has since taken away Tuer’s gun. Eric Ostrov, a psychologist retained by the agency, declared Tuer unfit for duty in April 2016.

Tuer presents with a history of concerning or unacceptable behavior,” wrote Ostrov, citing previous instances relating to Tuer’s alcohol consumption.

Dr. Gerald Shiener, a psychiatrist retained by the Michigan State Police Troopers Association, found Tuer fit for duty just months later.

“The patient’s personality, demeanor and reported alcohol use is not consistent with an ongoing alcohol-use disorder,” and “given his current stability in marriage, his abstinence from alcohol and participation in treatment, I find no impairment of his ability to return to police work without restriction,” Shiener wrote.

Tuer’s attorney, James Fett, said Tuer isn’t an alcoholic but attended AA meetings because he thought they helped when he was drinking a lot off-duty. Fett said Michigan State Police isn’t allowed to discriminate against Tuer based on the perception that he is an alcoholic.

State Police spokeswoman Shanon Banner said Monday that “we did not discriminate against him” and that “we plan to defend this matter and its procedures vigorously.”


Information from: Detroit Free Press, https://www.freep.com

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