A federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the former chief of the Henderson Police Department against city officials.
Patrick Moers filed the lawsuit in Clark County District Court in June 2018, alleging Mayor Debra March and others solicited false sexual misconduct claims against him, damaged his reputation and ultimately forced his resignation. The lawsuit named current and former city officials.
The lawsuit, later moved to U.S. District Court, sought more than $50,000 in damages. A federal judge threw out Moers’ claims in January 2019 because he did not name the city as a defendant and he signed a separation agreement that waived any claims against the city. (If Moers had named the city as a defendant, the judge acknowledged, those claims would still have been thrown out because he signed the separation agreement.)
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which did not hold a hearing, found the claims were properly dismissed. The court rejected a claim Moers raised on appeal that he signed his separation agreement under duress.
“The city has always maintained that the allegations made by Mr. Moers were without merit,” city spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said in a statement. “Our focus remains on ensuring that Henderson continues to be one of the safest communities in the nation thanks to the many fine officers and civilians that work at the Henderson Police Department.”
Moers left his position as Henderson police chief in 2017 after an investigation substantiated claims of inappropriate conduct. He has denied claims of sexual harassment and has alleged the law firm that investigated him was biased.
Neither Moers nor his attorney responded to a request for comment.