Another Tyrone Lawsuit You Didn't Know About

Tyrone Police Officer Janine McElwaney has sued Tyrone over incidents that happened on the Old Council’s “watch”. McElwaney filed suit in Federal Court November 21, 2007 alleging violations of State and Tyrone Laws & Regulations, Equal Protection and Sex Discrimination. Judge Jack Camp now has two cases involving many of the same legal complaints. The suit accuses, GUESS WHO, Town Mgrs. Barry Amos & Valerie Fowler. To make a long story short, beginning in 2006, McElwaney became pregnant and her doctor prescribed temporary lighter duty than chasing down criminals. McElwaney alleges that Valerie & Barry told her she should not have gotten pregnant and light duty was not possible. Under the advice of Chief Hay, McElwaney applied for another open position, but Valerie told her, she could not get that vacancy. As she continue to work heavy duty, complications arose with the pregnancy, requiring her, on doctor’s orders to ask for disability leave. Valerie then told the officer she would have to go on unpaid leave of absence or be terminated. (The old termination threat used in firing Tammy Brock). (Four hundred twenty two petitioner’s think the one who should be terminated is Valerie). While on approved temporary “unpaid” leave, Tyrone management terminated McElwaney, placing in her file “voluntary resignation” without her knowledge and consent. In August 2006 McElwaney informed Valerie she was ready to come back to work and was informed that there was no job available. In September, Chief Hay recommended McElwaney for a vacancy on the morning watch, which she got. After a few months someone ordered other officers to follow McElwaney and try to “catch” her doing something wrong. (shades of the police following citizen Gail Onesi, stopping her for a defective rear light, searching her car, then handcuffing and putting her in the Fayette Co. jail on a bogus driving without a valid license charge, which wasn’t true; all after Valerie threatened to have Onesi arrested because Valerie didn’t want to show her public zoning records). McElwaney alleges that bad reports were placed in her file in violation of State Police Standards to which she filed an EEOC complaint and upon investigation filed the suit. Since the Charter was changed to require all departments to be under Barry’s control and direction, one may speculate as to who directed the police to follow Officer McElwaney & Gail Onesi and “catch” them.

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Submitted by 05taco on Mon, 01/28/2008 - 2:44pm.

None of you really know what you are talking about in regards to this lawsuit. Who ever heard of it only taking 12 weeks to have a baby, your not released from the doctor to even go back to work for at least 6 weeks after having the baby. Do you Really think she applied for the leave a month and a half before the baby was born.

What lengths do you think Tyrone PD would go to to prevent having to pay a large award in a discrimination lawsuit. I mean really all you would have to do is ruin her name and who better to do that than a small town police department. Unless you have a camera documenting your every breath you can be accused of anything to make a HUGE Lawsuit go away.

On a side note Perkins you might want to watch out because VanBrock REALLY would like to be Chief of the Town of Torture.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Mon, 01/28/2008 - 8:31pm.

"On a side note Perkins you might want to watch out because Van Brock REALLY would like to be Chief of the Town of Torture."

I wouldn't know if that is true or not, Van Brock is too much of a gentleman to comment on that. I'm not! Van Brock was screwed and everyone in Tyrone knows it!

The old bunch jumped over him and others with more experience for only one reason!

They knew Van Brock was ethical and honest and could not/would not, be used. He lives by the same thing a lot of good people do, I doesn't matter what others think of you if you know in your heart you have done the right thing. I don't think he would ever be any one's flunky because at the end of the day he had to face his on conscious..that is what makes some people respected, and others...flunkies!

we rule's picture
Submitted by we rule on Thu, 01/31/2008 - 8:43pm.

Are you saying that Chief Perkins is not honest or ethical? I'm sure there are reasons as to why Perkins is Chief and Brock is not. Perkins is a GREAT Chief!

Submitted by sackett on Mon, 01/28/2008 - 3:00pm.

And it was mentioned that there were complications with the pregnancy, they could have been before, or after the birth. But fire the officer for having a baby, isn't that a bit illegal? I saw in a post a last year that the officer (had to be the same officer) had nothing but good/excellent reviews until the lawsuit, from Tyrone and Fayette county.

Submitted by Shaquita on Sun, 01/27/2008 - 9:57pm.

In my review of the FMLA it apparently does not apply if there are less than 50 employees. I do not believe that Tyrone has 50 employees. So FMLA would not apply.

However, if the officer has a lawsuit I am sure she would like it to be tried in a court of law not a posting of blogs which have either have no factual basis or the facts are so distorted that it is impossible to determine the truth. But isn't this the same officer that the "new group" just terminated and according to the newspaper forwarded information to the Coweta County DA? Wonder how that is the "old groups" fault since they are not in office?

I Watch and his other blog names certainly appears to have no confidence in the court to rule in his favor and is resorting to character assassinations in the blogs to support his case. One would have to wonder what he is trying to keep from comming out in open court.

borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Mon, 01/28/2008 - 12:20pm.

Actually, according to the FMLA provisions, all public agencies are covered by FMLA regardless of the number of employees; they are not subject to the coverage threshold of 50 employees carried on the payroll each day for 20 or more weeks in a year.

But you are correct about one thing, it's a shame that there are some individuals who obviously blog any and every thing about others regardless of whether or not it's true. Kinda reminds me of the ol' Hitler strategy of "repeat a lie enough and people will think it's the truth".

borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Sun, 01/27/2008 - 12:26pm.

Sounds like that Ms. McElwaney went on Family Medical Leave which designed for these types of situations where employees become ill or a family member becomes ill and requires the assistance of the employee. Also used a lot when pregnancies occur.

And yes, it is unpaid leave and yes when an employee goes on Family Medical Leave they are told up front that there is a chance there position may not be open when they return. Sorry, but nothing illegal as it relates to these facts.

Can't address the other "facts" as presented but hey, anybody can sue anybody else with allegations of illegality. Her problem is going to be proving some of these allegations. Lots of he said/she said.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Sun, 01/27/2008 - 1:37pm.

The employer must reinstate the employee when that employee returns from leave, so yeah, it IS illegal. Here's the actual law to clear things up for you:

borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Sun, 01/27/2008 - 4:29pm.

Actually, there are situations where the employer is not required to reinstate the person back in their former position. It even says so in the website you reference, See below:

(1) DENIAL OF RESTORATION.--An employer may deny restoration under subsection (a) to any eligible employee described in paragraph (2) if--
(A) such denial is necessary to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to the operations of the employer;
(B) the employer notifies the employee of the intent of the employer to deny restoration on such basis at the time the employer determines that such injury would occur; and
(C) in any case in which the leave has commenced, the employee elects not to return to employment after receiving such notice.

In this case, it's hard to tell with regards to the dates, but if Ms. McElwaney was granted 12 weeks of Family Medical Leave at the beginning of 2006, used all 12 weeks but did not report back in a timely manner or follow established procedures with regard to her returning from Family Medical Leave, then the employer had no legal obligation to hire her back.

That's why I'm wondering if that's what happened here since her file was notated as "voluntary resignation" and she reported back in August.

But, hey who knows...guess it'll all come out at the trial.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Sun, 01/27/2008 - 4:34pm.

...and police officer is not considered a "highly compensated" or "key position."

As far as the rest of the lawsuit, you're right that all the details will come out in court if it continues forward. With some of the BS Tyrone has done over the last several years, I wouldn't be shocked, but so far we've only heard one side of the story.

Submitted by Valerie on Sun, 01/27/2008 - 1:07pm.

That wrong doers keep facts secret, so no evidence is available? Do audits, interrogatories, depositions and eeoc investigations bring real facts to light?

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