A supervisor in the Chester Police Department has sued the mayor, the police commissioner and the city for slander, defamation and libel because, he says, the mayor and commissioner have been spreading rumors that he's under investigation by the FBI.
According to the suit, which was filed this morning in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, Lt. Col. Darren Alston first learned of the rumors after he was demoted to his current position from that of chief of police when new Mayor John Linder took office early this year.
Linder appointed Joseph Bail Jr., who had retired from the department as a major in 2010, as the new chief of police.
Following the change in command, Alston began hearing rumors around the department that he was demoted because he was under investigation by the feds for being involved in illegal drug or gun sales, the suit said.
Sometime this summer, Alston ran in to State. Rep. Thaddeaus Kirkland and during a discussion of crime in Chester, Kirkland allegedly told Alston that Linder had told him he had demoted Alston because he was under federal investigation.
About two weeks later during a meeting with Kirkland, the city solicitor, the chief of staff to city council and two councilwomen, Alston was again told by all present that Linder had informed them Alston was under investigation by the FBI. Those at the meeting said Bail had been Linder's source of information.
Alston, a 19-year veteran of the department, claims he has never been under federal investigation. He's seeking an injunction to get Linder and Bail to refrain from making false statements and he's suing both men and the city for damages.
He claims the rumors have caused him emotional and physical distress including "headaches, sleeplessness, nausea, and feeling of physical un-wellness."