Former Johnstown police officer sues, city leaders respond

Local News

Former Johnstown Police Officer Scott Haymaker is suing the City of Johnstown and former city leaders over alleged discrimination.

Haymaker claims he was discriminated against and wasn’t promoted while working for the police department from 1997 to 2017 because he served in the military.

According to a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Haymaker claimed he lost wages and benefits and suffered humiliation and damage to his reputation.

The lawsuit claims that the city, former Police Chief Craig Foust and former Acting City Manager Melissa Komar violated federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination based on military service.

Haymaker is suing Foust and Komar jointly for at least $50,000.

During Haymaker’s 20 years at the department, he was deployed overseas several times.

The lawsuit claimed that Foust “…repeatedly expressed frustration with Haymaker due to his military affiliations.” It also said Foust “…complained about how Haymaker’s active duty deployments inconvenienced the Police Department.” The paperwork also states that Komar and Foust’s conduct “…was outrageous and carried out in reckless disregard of [Haymaker]’s right to be free from discrimination…”

Foust was placed on administrative leave in October 2016 after an officer was accused of breaking into an evidence locker and overdosing on drugs. Foust retired in December of 2016. Foust could not be reached to provide a comment.

Komar is currently the executive director of the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority. She told WTAJ she could not provide a comment.

Current City Manager George Hayfield, who was hired in June of 2018, said city leaders have not yet received the lawsuit. However, he expects them to hire outside counsel, which could cost the city $15,000 out-of-pocket.

Current Johnstown Police Chief Robert Johnson, who was hired in June of 2017 after Haymaker retired, could not comment on the lawsuit.

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