EXCLUSIVE: Audubon Park police officer claims he was fired for being gay

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by Gene Kang

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 27, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 8 at 5:32 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)  -- Former Audubon officer Kile Nave claims his boss used a barrage of gay slurs and fired him after being an upstanding officer.

Nave said he was trapped in a hostile work environment and targeted by his deputy police chief.

"It continued to the point where he would tell gay jokes in front of me," said Nave.

Nave claims his immediate boss, Ronald Jones, started with comments about his sexuality which escalated while Nave was employed from April 2009 through August of last year.

He says his boss used several slurs; something he never experienced in his 24 years in law enforcement.

"Anything he could think of that was derogatory," said Nave.

Nave says he asked Jones to stop numerous times, but that it only grew worse and says he began spreading hurtful rumors by telling officers he was on medical leave after sex with his partner.

To add insult to injury, Nave says he was wrongfully terminated.                 

"I've never had a bad performance evaluation there or anything that needs to be corrected," said Nave.

Now an investigation has been launched with the Human Relations Commission.

Nave's attorney, Bryan Gatewood, has filed a lawsuit against the City of Audubon Park, Audubon Mayor Michael Scalise, Police Chief Jeffery Cox and Ronald Jones.   They recently had a hearing with police officers.

"All five of those police officers testified to the harassment also testified to the competency and skill of my client as a police officer," said Gatewood.

Gatewood says it is illegal to discriminate in the workplace due to sexual orientation in Jefferson County.

But for Nave, his ability to serve and protect has abruptly stopped.

"That's the most difficult part of all of this is waking up in the morning and not having a job to go to knowing that I did nothing wrong," said Nave.

There was no comment from Jones.  The City of Audubon, Mayor Scalise and Police Chief Cox also had no comment.   Their attorney says litigation is pending and a resolution could take months and end up in court.

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