Former Coupeville cops sue town
July 3, 2008 · Updated 1:07 PM
"Mark Stup and Charles Lingo feel that the town of Coupeville has done them wrong and they want some money for their troubles.The two former deputy marshals recently filed suit against the town claiming wrongful employment termination back in 1997. They are asking for past and future damages from the loss of wages and benefits. The suit, written by Freeland attorney Peter Moote, claims that the two men were hired under a three-year federal COPS grant, but their positions were terminated after only two years.Town Marshal Lenny Marlborough sees it differently. He says both men took jobs with other agencies before the grants were over. He says they weren't fired; they left.After leaving the Coupeville Marshal's Office, Lingo went to work for the Island County Sheriff's Department. Stup got a job with the Oak Harbor Police Department.The COPS grants, which are directed toward smaller communities, come from the Bureau of Justice Assistance Police Hiring Program. The grants partially fund only new law enforcement positions. They usually run for three years and come with strings attached. Namely, the agency agrees to keep the position after the grant money runs out.The lawsuit claims that the town had a commitment under the COPS grant to re-employ Lingo and Stup. It says the town did terminate the Plaintiffs without just cause or good reason and in violation of the written contracts.The grievances listed in the lawsuit are wrongful discharge/ employment contract breach, breach of rehire agreement and third-party beneficiary breach.Under state law the lawsuit cannot ask for a specific amount in the lawsuit, but they are asking for special damages in addition to lost wages. "