ST. LOUIS — A firefighter is suing fire department and supervisors, citing alleged racial discrimination and wrongful termination.

Brian Burton filed a complaint June 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division against the city of St. Louis; St. Louis Fire Department; Dennis Jenkerson; and Brian Walsh alleging that they violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to equal protection.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on June 9, 2015, the plaintiff informed the fire department that he had been arrested and charged with stealing. The plaintiff was placed on unpaid administrative/forced leave and in the Redirect Program, which would allow him to withdraw his plea of guilty after 12 months. After successfully completing his program, the plaintiff was terminated March 22, 2016, despite allegedly being promised he will not be terminated and with full knowledge that discrimination is prohibited by the fire department. 

The plaintiff holds the defendants responsible because they allegedly placed the plaintiff on forced leave and terminated him due to his race/color, deprived the plaintiff of his rights secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States and failed to treat plaintiff equally with African-American employees of the Fire Department.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks to award for punitive damages, costs of action, together with costs, attorney's fees, and such other and additional relief as may appear to the Court to be equitable and just. He is represented by C. John Pleban, Lynette M. Petruska and J.C. Pleban of Pleban & Petruska Law, LLC in St. Louis.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division case number 4:17-cv-01799-SPM

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U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division
111 South 10th Street
St. Louis, MO 63102

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