Former Bolivar police chief files lawsuit

(AP) - A former West Tennessee police chief is suing, claiming he was fired because of his race.

Bill Irons filed suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Jackson, claiming he was unfairly treated by Bolivar officials and seeking at least $100,000 in punitive damages, according to The Jackson Sun.

Irons, who is black, claims in his lawsuit that the city's employment practices amounted to a conspiracy to defame him and unlawfully terminate his employment.

Named as defendants are Mayor Barrett Stevens, the city personnel director and members of the city council.

Asked for comment, Stevens told a reporter he didn't know a suit had been filed and was surprised. He declined further comment until the city's attorney had read the lawsuit.

Information from: The Jackson Sun.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.