Trooper was stripped of his gun for attending AA meetings: suit

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A state trooper in Michigan says he’s been declared unfit for duty and lost his gun after attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting three years ago, leading to an internal police investigation.

In a lawsuit filed last week, Michigan State Trooper Craig Tuer alleges discrimination and retaliation under the state’s Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act and the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, claiming the agency discriminated against him based on the perception that he’s an alcoholic, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Trouble started for Tuer, 48, of Warren, after he attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in 2014, according to the lawsuit. While at the meeting, Tuer relayed a story about how fellow troopers in a special enforcement unit drank alcohol and then drove state vehicles during out-of-town training sessions.

“One of the tenets is that things discussed at AA meetings are confidential and are not to be shared outside AA meetings,” the lawsuit reads. “Tuer always honored the vow of confidentiality; unfortunately, one person did not.”

Another attendee at the meeting reported Tuer’s story to the agency, which then launched an internal investigation.

Tuer, a military veteran and a trooper since 1995, began occasionally attending AA meetings in 2012, according to the lawsuit. His attorney, James Fett, said Tuer isn’t an alcoholic, but attended the meetings since they helped him cut down when he was drinking too much while off-duty.

Tuer told his sergeant that he was likely source of the information when he learned about the internal investigation, prompting the agency to take away his gun and declare him unfit for duty, according to the lawsuit.

A state police spokeswoman said the agency did not “discriminate” against Tuer.

“We plan to defend this matter and its procedures vigorously,” spokeswoman Shanon Banner told the Detroit Free Press.