More details have surfaced about why a former Henderson Police Chief says he was forced to resign. 8 News NOW obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed by Patrick Moers against Henderson Mayor Debra March and other city officials.
The 26-page lawsuit details the strained relationship between former Henderson Police Chief Patrick Moers and several city employees. Moers worked for the department for 26 years and became chief in 2012.
Moers alleges Henderson Mayor Debra March, and other city officials solicited false sexual misconduct claims against him and damaged his reputation.
Moers signed a separation agreement with the City of Henderson in May 2017. The lawsuit says he was falsely accused of sexually harassing two employees and creating a hostile work environment within the police department.
According to Moers, threats to terminate his employment started well before last May.
Moers says he was threatened and defamed in 2016 because he refused to cover up potential misconduct involving another Henderson Police official.
The lawsuit says March, a city councilwoman at the time who was running for mayor of Henderson, did not want an “investigation of a high-ranking police officer to go public” during her campaign.
The lawsuit also says March accused Moers in April 2017 of trying to “destroy” her Henderson Community Foundation. The accusation was due to his support of the Friends of Henderson Police Department Foundation, which the lawsuit says March viewed as competition.
During a phone call that same month, March allegedly told Moers she demanded respect from him and she would punish him for his “refusal to comply.”
Then in May 2017, the lawsuit alleges city officials worked to find police employees to make complaints against Moers.
Two women came forward with sexual harassment claims, and the lawsuit says Moers’ employment was terminated just a few weeks later.
Moers is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.
Acting City Manager Bristol Ellington sent the following statement:
“Patrick Moers has sued the City’s Mayor and several current and former employees. Moers’s meritless complaint will be vigorously defended and the record will be set straight. The City stands by its current and former employees and the Mayor and looks forward to when Moers’s actually serves the parties so that it can exercise the full breadth of its legal rights. The City expects all of the defendants to be completely vindicated,” said Acting City Manager Bristol Ellington.”