published Friday, November 11th, 2011

Red Bank police officer files age bias lawsuit

by Naomi Jagoda

A Red Bank police officer filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday claiming that he was penalized and demoted because of his age and for speaking out against former police Chief Larry Sneed's activities during the City Commission's 2010 investigation.

Stephen Satterwhite, who is over 40, is suing the city of Red Bank, Police Chief Tim Christol and Lt. Jay Lamance. He is seeking monetary damages, but his attorney, Donna Mikel, said there is no specific amount yet.

Red Bank Attorney Arnold Stulce declined to comment because he had just received the complaint. Christol and Lamance could not be reached for comment Thursday after business hours.

In 2010, several officers initiated an investigation with the Red Bank City Commission relating to Sneed, according to the complaint. During the investigation, Satterwhite told commissioners about unlawful activities of the police department and Sneed relating to a DUI arrest undertaken by an officer who Satterwhite supervised, according to the complaint.

Satterwhite told the commission that Sneed participated in the destruction or alteration of official documents, according to the complaint.

Following Sneed's termination, Satterwhite reported to Lamance, who was a close friend of Sneed and "who began nitpicking his performance," according to the complaint.

In February 2011, Satterwhite received a one-day suspension because of "public comments" he allegedly made about the police department, though the police department refused to specify what those comments were, according to the complaint. At that time he also was assigned to a different shift, was required to undergo additional training and was put on probation for 60 days, according to the complaint.

He received favorable evaluations during his probation, according to the complaint, and he had a clean employment record prior to his communications during the investigation.

At the end of July 2011, Satterwhite received a letter claiming he was making "public statements about the [police department]" and was demoted from a sergeant to a patrol officer. He also was informed that he was demoted because he was allegedly talking bad about other officers, the complaint said.

Satterwhite also said in the complaint that he had heard age-biased comments within the police department. During the investigation about Sneed, Satterwhite told city commissioners about these types of comments.

After he was demoted several new, young officers were hired and immediately promoted into supervisor positions, according to the complaint.

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01centare said...

The Chattanoogan was more detailed on this story. Giving a more complete view of the charges Mr. Satterwhite filed against RBPD.

November 11, 2011 at 12:50 p.m.
fedup350 said...

Oh sure 01centare is in heaven hearing all the racial accusations. He wont sleep for days and will post about this continously for months.

November 11, 2011 at 2:39 p.m.
Spicychick said...

Everyone knows how lousy and full of BS this officer is. He is LAZY, has been caught watching TV and making pizzas when he should have been doing HIS JOB. Hmmmm ... could THAT have been WHY he was demoted? I have never seen a bigger bunch of whiners than those officers who ousted Sneed. I guess some of these lowly patrol officers thought they were going to run the department then. Call the waaaaaaaaambulance.

Oh, and FALSIFY documents? Right. TWO judges now have said that was a good and proper arrest to get a .15 drunk driver off the road.


November 11, 2011 at 4:10 p.m.
splithorizon said...

SpicyChick is right (Satterwhite had a few 'issues' that he was called out on, and reassigned accordingly for). Bradley Hannon (one of the other lawsuit guys) was dismissed from NSM for some unknown reason, and went on to protect and serve (and undermine a good department).

So why the picture of Mr. Sneed? He's been long gone, and not a party to the lawsuit (his name mentioned, but he's not a defendant).

I say America needs to find themselves, and start getting rid of the lazy troublemakers. Let these people do their jobs, and quit b#$%hing about it.

November 13, 2011 at 8:50 a.m.
templar1066 said...

It would appear that appear that Spicychick lacks maturity and civilty and she and Splithorizon both have a personal agenda against Officer Satterwhite at work here. Arresting someone outside of your jurisdiction and then falsifying that fact by altering documents is not a "good and proper arrest". We have a Constitution for a reason. If the Officer felt confident in her arrest then why all of the efforts to hide it? As to the statement about making pizzas and watching tv, really? You wouldn't happen to be involved in this would you? I think that you may work for the RBPD and have a personal stake in this lawsuit and it seems funny to me that he was not thought to be lazy or a bad Officer until the Sneed drama unfolded. Nevertheless I do hope that the truth, whatever it may be comes to light.

November 16, 2011 at 4:53 p.m.
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