Former Venice cop claims he's owed wages
An Edwardsville man claims he is due wages he was not paid for his work as a Venice police officer. Jason P. Boyd filed suit against the city of Venice on April 8 in Madison County Circuit Court. The plaintiff says he was hired as a police officer on Sept. 10, 2007, and worked for a month before he was informed he was being taken off the schedule due to a dispute between the Venice mayor, Venice police chief and the city aldermen. During the first month of his employment, Boyd claims he was paid. In July, Boyd was told the dispute was resolved and he would be put back on the schedule in the fall, according to the complaint. Again, Boyd received a phone call in August and was told he was going to attend the police academy in October, the suit states. In anticipation of his work for the police department, Boyd resigned in September from his position at National Maintenance, where he was employed as a supervisor, the complaint says. When he left National Maintenance, Boyd was earning about $16 per hour and working more than 60 hours per week. He also had medical benefits. At his job as a Venice police officer, Boyd was supposed to start at $8.35 per hour, plus benefits. As planned, Boyd attended the police academy at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville from Oct. 2 until Dec. 10. From the time of his graduation until Dec. 24, Boyd was hired as a full-time police officer for Venice, he says. But on Dec. 24, Boyd was told he was again being removed from the schedule due to another dispute between the mayor, police chief and city aldermen. Boyd says he was not paid for his work and was not provided any benefits, despite the city's promise his family would be covered, according to the complaint. Boyd claims he is due wages for police services he performed from Oct. 2 through Dec. 24 and is due wages he would have been paid by National Maintenance if he had not quit to accept the police job. He says the city also owes him money he spent in covering medical expenses for his family and himself and for the mental suffering and anguish he endured because of his struggles. "Plaintiff was forced to sell his 1999 Lincoln Navigator to pay his bills due to the nonpayment of wages and noncoverage of medical insurance since Plaintiff's time at the police academy," the suit states. In the three-count suit, Boyd is seeking a judgment in excess of $125,000, plus unspecified economic damages. He is also asking the court to reinstate him to the position of a Venice police officer with full back pay since he was taken off the schedule on Dec. 24. Michael R. Wesley of Wesley and Reames in Wood River will be representing him. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-360.