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LAWSUIT: Sheriff forces veteran cop injured in line of duty to quit early, losing benefits and money

Sheriff William Redman
St. Joseph County Sheriff William Redman — Photo: Facebook

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has uncovered a federal lawsuit alleging St. Joseph County Sheriff William Redman and his department’s attorney, Troy Warner, forced a veteran officer to resign after he was injured in the line of duty. According to the lawsuit, Warner lied to the cop about his rights, benefits and department policy in order to get him to retire from the force.

The lawsuit involves 15 year veteran Dan Bodle. According to court documents, “In August 2019, Officer Bodle was injured in the line of duty while apprehending and armed suspect in St. Joseph County. In that altercation, Officer Bodle sustained injuries to his shoulders and knees and is permanently disabled as a result.”

Bodle was put on light duty as a result of the injuries. However, when it became clear that he would not fully recover (and since permanent light duty is not an option), Bodle had a meeting with department attorney Troy Warner.

“Warner explained that the department did not have a permanent light duty position for Officer Bodle and that there was no other disability leave or other accommodations available to him. Defendant Warner concluded that Officer Bodle’s best – and only – option was to retire from the Police Department.” The lawsuit states.

Bodle retired as a result of the recommendation from Redman’s attorney. However, the information provided was incorrect.

“Under the Merit Rules of the St. Joseph County Police Department in effect at the time, officers injured in the line of duty were allowed up to 12 months of leave at full pay and another 12 months at half pay rate.” The lawsuit states. “Because he is retired, Officer Bodle no longer receives the full officer’s pay and benefits that he otherwise would have received. Moreover, the pension which he now receives is diminished by the fact that his premature retirement cost him the ability to accrue additional years of service on the force.”

The case, which was filed in Federal Court in September of last year, is still working its way through the system. Redman and his attorney requested that the case be dismissed. The judge denied that request.

Subscribers can read the entire lawsuit below.

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