A Nameoki Township Highway Department worker claims he is being retaliated against for supporting his boss's political opponent in the upcoming April 4 election.
Ronald Farrington filed suit March 23 in federal court against Nameoki Township Highway Commmissioner Donald Moore seeking "substantial" compensatory damages for the violation of his rights and the alleged harm to his reputation and for suffering humiliation and mental anguish.
Farrington claims that ever since he put up a yard sign on property he owns for Moore's opponent - Charles Luehmann - he has been retaliated against by Moore.
Moore's policies, directives, decisions and procedures "have chilled and deterred Plaintiff from exercising his constitutional right of free speech," his suit claims.
Farrington is represented by Eric Evans of Granite City.
In addition to compensatory damages, Farrington seeks judgment against Moore and the Township declaring they have violated his constitutional rights and a permanent injunction enjoining them from applying policies that restrain him from exercising his constitutional rights.
As for specific forms of retaliation, Farrington claims that upon Moore learning that he showed support for Luehmann, Moore assigned him to clean the "Dura-Patch" machine.
"Cleaning the Dura Patch machine is a dirty and difficult job which is typically fall (sic) to the man with the least seniority...," the suit states.
Farrington, 59, who has worked for the highway department for three years, claims he also was assigned to pick up trash alone and without assistance.
"Highway trash pickup has always been a two-man job in the Township as it is very hard for one person to do and is dangerous to do alone," the suit states.
"Additionally, if anyone was put on trash detail it should have been done by seniority and since Plaintiff has more seniority then other Highway Department employees the job should have been assigned to someone else."
Farrington states Moore has made "multiple statements" to him and others that "he hired Plaintiff, so Plaintiff should be supporting him and not his opponent in the upcoming election."