An East St. Louis police officer who quit his job in 2001 after taking off several months for family leave, is suing the city and several officials for making it impossible for him to find work.

James Boyd, represented by Greg Roosevelt of Edwardsville, filed suit July 28 in St. Clair County Circuit Court. He claims former police chief James Mister, personnel director Janet Battle and internal affairs investigator and police chief Delbert Marion made false statements and have acted deliberately to damage his reputation with prospective employers.

Among other things, Boyd claims they refused to provide work history information to a company that performs routine background and employment checks--References-etc.

Boyd claims Mister intentionally and maliciously withheld relevant and important information regarding his employment history with the city.

He is seeking in excess of $350,000 in damages for lost employment opportunities, loss of reputation, emotional distress, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

"Defendant James Mister rudely and unprofessionally hung up on References-etc," the complaint states.

Boyd had worked for the city for seven years.

He also claims Marion falsified an affidavit filed with the city stating that Boyd was abusing his sick leave.

"Delbert Marion knew at all relevant tines in 2005 that the information he was purporting regarding plaintiff and his sick leave was false," the complaint states.

"That at all relevant times in 2001 up to and including the present day, Delbert Marion knew that the City of East St. Louis had a history of fabricating charges of abuse and sick leave in order to cause the unjustified termination of police officers."

He also claims that Marion failed to remove discipline records which had been "grieved and found not to be substantiated" from his personnel file.

And, he claims Battle failed to remove a record of Boyd's arrest in New Orleans, "which said arrest being more than 20 years ago and having been lawfully expunged by the courts of Louisiana," Boyd claims.

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