A former officer with the Charleston, West Virginia, police department has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against his old employer, claiming that he was harassed for years and ultimately fired after divorcing the cousin of the police chief's wife.

The West Virginia Record reports that the ex-officer, Christopher Thompson, filed his complaint against the department in Kanawha Circuit Court last month. According to the suit, Thompson was unfairly treated by his superiors after two failed romantic relationships within the department. The first was with officer Cathy Peal, whose relationship with Thompson ended in 1995. In June 2012, Peal was promoted to captain, whereupon she began threatening Thompson and spreading rumors about him.

The second entanglement occurred between Thompson and his previous wife, Joyce Elmore Thompson, whom the officer divorced in October 2008. Thompson claims that, following this, he incurred even further harassment within the department, due to Joyce being the cousin of the Charleston police chief's wife.

After divorcing Joyce, Thompson's shift was downgraded from four 10-hour days to five eight-hour days. Thompson was also transferred from the property crimes and evidence unit to community service detail. Thompson was later demoted to sergeant from his rank of lieutenant because he had been found using his police cruiser to drive his wife a short distance, despite the fact that police officers are frequently allowed to transport loved ones with their patrol cars.

Thompson and his wife — who also received threatening text messages from Captain Peal — allege wrongful termination and emotional distress on the department's part. In addition to damages, lost wages and legal fees, Thompson is also seeking to be restored to his former rank.

If you have been fired from a job and believe an employer's personal grudge is responsible, seek out the legal representation you need from the wrongful termination lawyers of The Meyers Law Firm.