January 16, 2013
A former Prosper police officer has filed a federal lawsuit against the city claiming he was terminated in retaliation for complaining about an affair he alleges occurred between his wife and a fellow police officer.
David Lightfoot, who worked with the department for eight years until he was fired in December 2010, is seeking unspecified monetary damages. He claims that in addition to his firing, the city of Prosper has prevented him from gaining employment elsewhere in retaliation for his complaints.
The lawsuit says Lightfoot was married to Amy Bockes, who was employed by the city's municipal court, in 1999, prior to either working for the city. Lightfoot claims he began to suspect Bockes was having an affair with Assistant Chief Gary McHone in April 2010, and that he was proven correct one month later.
Lightfoot contends that both Bockes and McHone, who was also married at the time, attended a dinner at Chief Kirk McFarlin's home without their spouses, and when he complained to McFarlin he was ordered to attend an employee counseling program. He also contends that while McFarlin ordered McHone to avoid further contact with Bockes, this did not occur.
Lightfoot eventually took his complaints to Town Manager Mike Land, as well as Mayor Ray Smith and Councilman David Vestal.
"As before, Lightfoot's grievances had little evident impact on the state of affairs within his workplace," the suit reads.
After months of what Lightfoot regarded as mistreatment from McHone and McFarlin, the issue came to a head in December 2010 when Lightfoot was told he had the option of being fired or resigning. He chose to resign and was hired by the Northlake Police Department at what the suit describes as a "substantial cut in pay."
When he applied for a job at McKinney PD, he was rejected because of information in his personnel file that the suit claims was false, and potentially put there by Prosper PD in retaliation for his speaking out about the affair.
Prosper spokesman Celso Martinez said the city had no official comment on the pending lawsuit.
"We will let the legal process move forward and will testify if called to do so," he said.
The complaint was filed in the Eastern District of Texas. In addition to the city, McHone, McFarlin and Bockes are also listed as defendants.