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Lawsuit alleges violation of 14th Amendment due process rights and misuse of power by City Manager

INDEPENDENT FILE PHOTO - Jeff Charpilloz, who is now suing the city of Mount Angel and its city manager, was awarded a Lifesaving Award at a March 2017 Mount Angel City Council meeting by Mayor Andy Otte.Former Mount Angel Sgt. Jeff Charpilloz is suing the City of Mount Angel and City Manager Amber Mathiesen, claiming a violation of his rights to due process during employment termination procedures, according to court documents.

Charpilloz resigned from the Mount Angel Police Department Oct. 25, 2017 after working for the city since 1999.

His attorneys filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court May 4.

Charpilloz's lawsuit, in which he accuses Mathiesen of misuse of powers with willful and malicious intent, alleges that he was not properly informed about an investigation and termination proceeding against him in September 2017.

According to court documents, Charpilloz was notified Sept. 25, 2017 by then-Mount Angel Chief of Police Michael Healy in an email that an internal investigation was underway regarding Charpilloz's alleged "offensive oral communications that were disrespectful of a fellow employee."

The city brought in an independent investigator to interview Charpilloz about his alleged comments, according to court documents.

The lawsuit claims that when Charpilloz requested a copy of the written complaint against him he was informed that there was not a copy available, despite a city ordinance requiring complaints against police officers to be documented on a complaint form.

The suit claims that another police officer had kept a journal of his alleged offensive comments, but Charpilloz was not provided with a copy of the journal during the investigation.

According to the lawsuit, on Oct. 25 Mathiesen sent Charpilloz a text message requiring him to meet at her office. Charpilloz claims that he was then given a notice of proposed termination, but was not told he could have legal representation and only given an hour to decide whether to resign or be terminated. He decided to resign at that time.

Charpilloz's lawsuit against Mount Angel claims the city violated his due process rights under the 14th Amendment and seeks recovery of all equitable relief, compensatory damages and punitive damages.

In March 2017 Charpilloz recieved two life-saving awards from the city for seperate incidents in 2016 when he performed CPR to save a man's life and dragged a 60-year-old man out of a burning building. Charpiloz had been a police officer for Mt. Angel since 1999.

Neither legal council for the city nor Mathiesen was available for comment by publication.

Patrick Evans



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