Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dennis v. Fitzsimons

United States District Court, D. Colorado

September 5, 2019

JARED DENNIS, Plaintiff,
v.
JAIME FITZSIMONS, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Marcia S. Krieger, Senior United States District Judge.

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (# 30), the Plaintiff's Response (# 34), and the Defendant's Reply (# 37). For the reasons that follow, the Motion is granted.

         I. JURISDICTION

         The Court exercises jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

         II. BACKGROUND [1]

         Plaintiff Jared Dennis is an alcoholic who was employed as a deputy in the Summit County Sheriff's Office (SCSO). The named Defendant is the Sheriff, Jaime FitzSimons. On July 27, 2016, Deputy Dennis' wife filed criminal charges against him in Park County. As a consequence, the SCSO placed Deputy Dennis on administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation. As a condition of such leave, Deputy Dennis was instructed that “You are to remain at a pre-arranged place, available by phone, beginning Thursday, July 28, 2016 from [9:00 a.m.] to [5:00 p.m.], ” and that “you are to call on and off duty daily” with his Commander, Lesley Mumford.

         With the agreement of Park County officials, Deputy Dennis was permitted to voluntarily appear at his arraignment at 7:00 AM on July 28, 2016. On the night before the arraignment, Deputy Dennis and another SCSO deputy, Sergeant Robert Pearce, got drunk. The following morning, Sergeant Pearce drove Deputy Dennis to the Park County Sheriff's Office for the arraignment. Deputy Dennis was given a breathalyzer test as part of the standard intake process; it revealed a blood-alcohol level of 0.107, above the legal limit. Deputy Dennis remained at the Park County Sheriff's Office for some time thereafter and was given additional breathalyzer tests. At approximately 9:00 AM, his blood-alcohol level registered at 0.082, still well above the legal limit for intoxication. At 10:45 AM, his level was 0.060, still above the limit for intoxicated driving.[2] At that point, due to his continuing intoxication, the Park County Jail rescheduled Deputy Dennis' arraignment until the next day. Believing that he was not required to contact Commander Mumford until after the arraignment was concluded, Deputy Dennis took no further action that day and did not contact Commander Mumford.

         Not having heard from Deputy Dennis as expected, Commander Mumford made the decision to terminate Deputy Dennis' employment. Shortly thereafter, Commander Mumford delivered a letter of termination to Deputy Dennis at the Park County Jail. The letter stated Deputy Dennis had violated four SCSO policies:

• Conduct 400(III)(A)(9) Private Life: Deputies will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to the SCSO or themselves; (this provision also requires off-duty conduct to be “exemplary” and “beyond reproach” (# 30-7 at 2, Conduct 400(III)(A)(9).)
• Conduct 400(III)(B)(9)(a)(1) Alcohol Use: An employee shall not consume alcohol to such a degree that it impairs his on-duty performance;
• Conduct 400(III)(B)(9)(a)(4) Alcohol Use: An employee shall not consume alcohol for a period of eight hours before going on duty[3];
• Internal Affairs 410(VI)(A) Internal Affairs investigative proceedings are confidential personnel issues and shall not be discussed with anyone other than as part [sic] of the official investigation.

(# 30-6 at 1-2.) Termination of Deputy Dennis' employment was effective immediately. Deputy Dennis appealed to Sheriff FitzSimons, but the Sheriff upheld the termination decision.

         In his Complaint (# 1), Deputy Dennis identifies two claims, but the Court breaks them into four claims: (1) discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) based on his termination, (2) discrimination in violation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. ยง 794) based on his termination, (3) discrimination in violation of the ADA based on a failure to accommodate his disability, and (4) discrimination in violation of the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.