DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa trooper who was fired after a lengthy sexual harassment and workplace safety investigation has filed a lawsuit alleging he was wrongly terminated and illegally blocked from seeking disability.
Former Iowa State Patrol officer Wade Karp, who worked at the Capitol complex for a decade, alleges that superiors told him he could not apply for disability before they fired him last year.
Karp’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday, says that he became aware of his potential disability after receiving the results of a medical evaluation that he’d been ordered to undergo during a 10-month paid leave .
Karp was removed from duty and put under investigation in 2017 after a Capitol employee reported receiving unsettling Facebook messages in which Karp sought a romantic relationship.
She and others were concerned, in part, because Karp had previously discharged a rifle in the workplace. A termination letter accused Karp of “intimidating, threatening and unwelcome” interactions.
But Karp’s lawsuit alleges his termination was without “just cause” and inconsistent with the state’s progressive discipline policy. His attorney has said the Facebook messages weren’t intended to harass.