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Suit: Chicago Police Board retaliated against officer, denied him disability

A lawsuit filed Tuesday claims the Chicago Police Retirement Board unlawfully retaliated against a police officer and denied him his payments.

Officer Anthony Hernandez worked as a narcotics officer on a 7-10 man team. In May 2011, Hernandez, who is also a contractor for First Quality Construction, agreed to do some repair work on his sergeant’s summer home in Sturgess, Mich., according to the lawsuit.

Until July 2011, Hernandez worked on the summer home on his days off until the sergeant fired him and refused to pay him some $15,000 for the work he did, according to the lawsuit.

The suit claims that Hernandez was then assigned to a different narcotics team, which Hernandez found to be “a less desirable position with significantly less overtime pay.”

On Sept. 6, 2011, Hernandez filed a complaint with the Chicago Police Department Internal Affairs Division regarding the transfer, according to the lawsuit.

After the complaint was filed, Hernandez was moved to another narcotics unit, which prompted him to ask his supervisor to be placed on street duty, according to the lawsuit. The supervisor denied the request because “he feared that fellow officers would not back up Hernandez,” according to the lawsuit.

Hernandez was threatened with bodily harm and subjected to extra stress, which affected his ability to work, according to the lawsuit.

The suit claims that several doctors examined Hernandez and found him unfit to work. The doctors cited the conduct of supervisors and fellow officers and the assignments from one narcotics unit to another as some of the causes to his work distress.

The Retirement Board of The Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago reviewed Hernandez’s request for disability benefits in May and June, and denied his request because he did not establish that his disability was caused by his work environment, according to the lawsuit.

Hernandez and The Retirement Board of The Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago could not be immediately reached for comment.

The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.