A Chicago police detective who suffered from a delusional disorder claims her superiors illegally tried to fire her for her actions while struggling with the condition.
Jamie Duignan made news in April 2014 when she was accused of abducting her two young children and taking them to Wisconsin. This week, she filed a federal lawsuit against the city, alleging it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The same month she took her kids to Wisconsin — where they were found safe — Duignan was hospitalized and given a provisional diagnosis of acute psychosis delusional disorder, according to her lawsuit. It said she later tested positive for Huntington’s disease, “a terminal hereditary neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by progressively worsening motor, cognitive, behavioral and psychiatric symptoms.”
Duignan said her disorder was in full remission as little as five months later — by Sept. 29, 2014 — but a doctor said she had already suffered from the disorder for two or three years. Meanwhile, then-Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy filed charges with the police board, recommending Duignan’s firing. Among other things, Duignan was accused of refusing to identify herself to a lieutenant and engaging in a “belligerent profane tirade in the presence of civilians” on March 17, 2013.
The police board found her not guilty on all counts because she suffered from the medical condition at the time, court records show. McCarthy unsuccessfully sought an administrative review in Cook County Circuit Court last year, and Duignan claims the superintendent’s office later filed another set of charges with the police board.