A veteran Philadelphia homicide detective who was fired for padding overtime then reinstated by an arbitrator wants the city and Commissioner Charles Ramsey to pay for what he says was an indelible, unfair and costly blemish to his reputation.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court, Detective Kenneth Rossiter says Ramsey violated his right to due process and caved to media pressure when the commissioner fired him last year, and that the aftereffects continue.
“He is back on the force but little of the damage has been undone; thanks to defendant's defamatory statements to the press, Det. Rossiter is believed by some within the department and outside of the department to be an overtime cheat, and by others to be a target of the Ramsey administration, making them either unwilling or afraid to work with him,” says the lawsuit, filed by attorney Maxwell Kennerly.
Rossiter, 52, an officer for more than 30 years and a homicide detective since 2002, came under scrutiny in 2009 after the department pledged to review its overtime expenses. At one point, he was banking about $90,000 a year in overtime, more than any other officer, city records showed. Ramsey fired Rossiter a year ago, after an internal affairs investigation into complaints he was at home when he claimed to be working.