Small Town Reaches $250,000 Settlement With Former Officer Who Sued For Wrongful Termination

BEACHWOOD, OH – The city of Beachwood has reached a settlement with a former police officer who had sued the city for wrongful termination.

City Council held a special meeting on Wednesday in which it agreed to pay $192,000 in settlement of the case, which involved former Beachwood police officer Roger Martin.

The city’s insurance firm, Trident Insurance, will pay an additional $65,000, making the final sum of the settlement agreement approximately $257,000.

Law Director Brian Reali said that, in accordance with the conditions of the agreement, he could not divulge any further information about the settlement or the case. The suit was filed against the city in August, 2014.

Martin, in his suit, contended that he was fired for statements he made while serving in his official capacity as president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 86, the union that represents Beachwood police officers.

Martin, who was fired on Feb. 7, 2014, had raised the question of whether commanders should act as voting members of the union. The suit stated that Martin’s supervisors questioned his integrity after he brought his concerns to the State Employee Relations Board.

The suit, which claimed that Martin’s right to free speech was denied, also claimed that police management tried to get him indicted when he tried to change the union’s legal representation.

Named in the lawsuit as defendants were Mayor Merle Gorden, former police chief Mark Sechrist, and officers Kevin Owens and Bruce Hof.

A federal judge served as the case’s mediator. Trident Insurance, Reali said worked out the settlement.

“It (the settlement) was basically at their authorization and request,” Reali said, speaking of Trident.


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