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Police Officer Claims He Was Fired Over Diabetes Issue


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4/16/2009
Brent Adams
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A former police officer from Ocean City, Maryland has filed suit against the town, claiming that he was wrongfully terminated over requests for special accommodations to meet his needs for the disabling condition of diabetes.

The suit filed by former Pfc. David Catrino in U.S. District Court on March 4 claims that he was fired for departing his post before the end of the daytime shift. According to the suit, police interpreted his early departure as him quitting the job.

Catrino says that he left early to eat after multiple requests to take a break to do so had been denied. In February 2007, he was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and is under orders from his doctor to eat regularly in order to maintain his blood sugar.

The suit claims that Catrino’s immediate supervisor would not allow him to step away to eat on July 21, 2007. The suit claims that because of the incident, the police and the town were in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by denying Catrino a “reasonable accommodation of regularly scheduled meals.

Catrino, 40, was hired as a full-time Ocean City Police officer in 1994 after serving as a seasonal officer for several summers.

The suit is the second one Catrino has filed against Ocean City over the incident.

In April 2008, Catrino filed suit against the town in Maryland’s Worcester County Circuit Court, but the case was dismissed in July 2008.

Court personnel say that Catrino’s attorneys successfully petitioned the state Court of Special Appeals to hear the case, which is tentatively scheduled for September.

Catrino’s attorney says that the case revolves around whether he was heard to say “I quit,” meaning that he clearly resigned, or “I ought to quit,” a statement made in frustration.



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