FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. - A former Fruitland Park police officer could soon be getting a big settlement from the city stemming from a lawsuit he filed.
Robert Parish is a former Fruitland Park police officer who helped the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigate Mark Isom, the agency's former chief, in 2010. Isom lost his job and law enforcement certification after an investigation revealed he used fake college degrees to get a raise.
Parish told WFTV he was forced to leave the police department and sued the city because of retaliation. He said his 28-year-long career ended not long after he cooperated with FDLE.
"I felt that I was being wronged for standing up for what was right," Parish said.
According to Parish, when FDLE began investigating Isom, city officials didn't want employees to discuss the case. But he cooperated and investigators said Parish was instrumental in helping them build a case against Isom.
"That's when the retaliation for the most part started," Parish said.
The lawsuit claims Parish was passed over for a promotion and demoted from a major to captain. It also states he was forced to work odd hours and had some administrative duties taken away. Parish claims it was all an attempt to force him to quit, which he eventually did in late 2012.
The city has offered Parish $240,000 to settle the lawsuit. Commissioners are set to approve the settlement at their next meeting.
"Once it's all said and done, it's a chapter that we can close," Parish said.
Officials said if approved, the city will pay $15,000 of the settlement and an insurance company will cover the rest.