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Ex-Pilot's Lawsuit Against Monroe County Sheriff's Aviation Department Tossed Out

September 3, 2014 - On Monday a federal judge dismissed an employment lawsuit against an employee in the aviation department of the Monroe County Sheriff's Department and against Monroe County Sheriff, Rick Ramsay.

David Clark, 56, who was a Trauma Star reserve pilot for the Monroe County Sheriff's Department from June 28, 2011 - February 12, 2012, alleged he was not hired as a fulltime pilot and eventually terminated because of his age. This make the second time a court has dismissed his lawsuit.

Clark's first time around, a district court dismissed his case because Clark's attorney filed the lawsuit against the Monroe County Sheriff's Department. The court ruled that Monroe County Sheriff’s Department could not be sued because it wasn't a legal entity subject to suit. As a result Clark's attorney revised the lawsuit and filed a suit against his supervisor and Monroe County Sheriff, Rick Ramsay.


The Sheriff's Department reported that Clark was not fired because of his age but because of a phone conversation between his supervisor and Clark. In which Clark had stated he had been involved with providing drug smugglers with aircraft and in return he received paper grocery bags full of money.

Senior federal court judge, James Lawrence King of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed Clark's lawsuit, as the judge felt the case should have been herd in state court. Monroe County Sheriff's Office attorney Patrick McCullah said "Basically, he's (the judge) saying this is a jurisdictional issue and the federal courts have no jurisdiction because state remedies are available."

It is not know if Clark's attorney, Ware Cornell of Weston who is a personal injury and labor attorney will refiled the case in state court. Cornell said "That's one of the subjects my client and I will be talking about. The other option is to file an appeal (in federal court) and depending on how that goes, maybe we will file in state court. I'm not 100 percent sure what we will do, but we will do something."



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