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Former cop sues City of Venus

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ERIC CORNELISON
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VENUS - A former detective with the Venus Police Department, Timothy Leach, has filed a lawsuit against the City of Venus.

Leach was let go in November for insubordination and he alleged in the suit the City of Venus violated the Texas Whistleblower Act by firing him in retaliation for going above former Chief of Police Clarence Johns' head.

Leach said he went to City Administrator Jerry Reed with allegations regarding the conduct of then-patrol commander Sgt. Thomas Peyton.

The Venus City Council upheld Leach's termination on Dec. 13, 2006 and then Leach began preparing a suit against the city.

The suit was filed in the 413th District Court on Jan. 18 in Cleburne by Leach's attorney, Ray Hill of Mansfield.

Reed was served with the suit the same day.

Hill said, 'In my opinion, detective Leach's petition satisfies all five requirements of the Texas Whistleblower Statute.'

The petition states, 'The report made by plaintiff Timothy James Leach involved several violations of the law by public employee Sgt. Thomas Peyton and was made to an appropriate law enforcement authority, Chief of Police Clarence V. Johns.'

Leach was seeking restitution, reinstatement, attorney's fees and other costs because the petition states, 'exemplary damages due to malice, including ill will, spite and evil motive.'

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