• Fired Clermont police officer awarded settlement


    CLERMONT, Fla. - A former Clermont police officer who sued the city claiming his first amendment rights were violated settled with the city.

    The former officer was among a group of five officers who complained about the former police chief and got fired over it.

    "Doing the right thing should never be judged on what it may cost," Kyle Bermingham said.

    Like the others, Bermingham fought back and prevailed.

    He sued the city of Clermont claiming his first amendment rights were violated when he went to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to report Chief Steve Graham.

    The group believed Graham violated the constitution when he allegedly forced his way into an apartment in 2009.

    Graham later fired or demoted the officers.

    "There's no doubt in any of our minds. And I know I can speak for them on this that it was 100 percent retaliation," Bermingham said.

    Years went by and Bermingham finally got his day in court.

    On Tuesday a case between Bermingham and the city began in federal court in downtown Orlando.

    The parties settled on the first day of the trial, ending the years of back-and-forth.

    "It's not unusual that negotiations continue even after the trial starts. Often times it's a reality check to both sides as (to) the strength of their case," WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said.

    It's unclear how much money the city awarded Bermingham.

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