​Cop: Alcoholism Disability Lawsuit Filed Against City​​

An Oregon cop, who was fired for driving drunk in an unmarked police car, is suing the city of Gresham for $6 million for his alcoholism, which violates his rights to disability.

The lawsuit filed in Portland alleged the officer, Jason Servo, was suffering from alcoholism, which is recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and shouldn’t have been dismissed.

The suit also alleged Servo was denied due process, and the police union failed to represent him adequately.

“Just as with any type of disability or disease, they should have made some kind of effort to accommodate that, or some kind of effort to work with him, and not simply sever all ties,” said Shawn Kollie, one of Servo’s attorneys.

Police Chief Craig Junginger was out of the office Friday. City spokeswoman Laura Shepard said officials would not discuss the case because their policy is to not talk about pending litigation.

Servo, 43, was arrested in January 2011 after he crashed into a ditch while off-duty. The lawsuit said that Servo, a detective who was the department’s lead firearms instructor, had taken the police vehicle to a firearms training session in the nearby city of Troutdale. He later joined fellow cops for dinner and drinks.

“This was a common practice among (Gresham) officers and had become an inherent part of the culture,” according to the lawsuit filed late Thursday.

Servo was alone when his vehicle veered into a ditch and he was not hurt. Though Servo refused to take breath or field sobriety tests, alleging he had a disability, but the Clackamas County sheriff’s deputy who arrested him later testified before the state Department of Public Safety Standards and Training that Servo was probably one of the top 10 most intoxicated people he had arrested in almost 15 years of drunken-driving investigations.

Two months after the accident, the cop pleaded guilty to drunken driving and entered a diversion program, which is common for people with alcoholism to complete. He fulfilled the program’s requirements and the DUI was dismissed.

The cop’s lawsuit alleged the chief fired Servo to save money, ignoring the known disability of alcoholism.