Boise Police Whistle Blower Claims Retaliation

BOISE, Idaho (CBS 2) — A decorated Boise police corporal is suing the City of Boise, the police department and Police Chief William Bones, claiming all of them retaliated against him for whistle blowing activities.

As first reported by the Idaho Statesman, the case dates back to December 2015 when Cpl. Norman “Denny” Carter says he complained to a deputy chief at BPD that another officer was selling firearms to private and public customers from his office at the police station while on duty.

According to court documents, Carter claims that Lt. Greg Oster essentially operated “a storefront” in his City Hall West office for his private business, selling handguns, rifles and other law enforcement supplies to Boise police officers as well as the public.

The lawsuit asserts Oster visually displayed product prices and comparative prices from other companies in his office at the police department.

The lawsuit says that activity violates both city and state ethics codes as well as state law.

But Carter says in court documents that when he took his complaints through the chain of command, he was retaliated against.

That retaliation included cutting him out of his job responsibilities, depriving him of overtimes duties, and approving social media comments that defamed him. Carter’s lawsuit claims Chief Bones and police command staff encouraged the retaliation, a policy approved by Boise City Hall in violation of Idaho whistle blower law and First Amendment rights.

The lawsuit is seeking back pay and damages for emotional stress.

Both the police department and city hall say they will not comment on pending litigation.

City spokesman Mike Journee says the city council has approved up to $100,000 to a Boise law firm to defend the city against the retaliation claims.

According to Boise police, Carter is on active duty and Oster has retired.


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