Moline alderman says firefighter lawsuit is “baseless”

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MOLINE, Illinois -A Moline alderman says he has no idea why he's named in a federal lawsuit filed by a city firefighter, which he says is "baseless."

"There's nothing that is grounded in any truth that has to do with me," said Alderman Mike Wendt.

Firefighter Todd Allen filed the lawsuit on Monday February 27, naming four Moline aldermen and two fellow firefighters, and the city of Moline. He claims he became a target ever since he complained about sexual harassment against his then- firefighter wife several years ago. She has since left the fire department.

"You have members of the fire department who were involved in the sexual harassment against his wife, who are now retaliating against him and conspiring with aldermen to try to subject him to this false and frivolous investigation about his time," said Dana Kurtz, Allen's attorney.

Wendt says the council approved an investigation into Allen's time card records after someone complained, and this week acknowledged, they found no criminal wrongdoing. He said the time card system was found to be flawed, and there were some loose rules that needed tightening up, and that has been done.

"There are a number of checks and balances that had not been in place," Wendt said.

But, Wendt says, Allen's claims about being a victim of a "conspiracy" between aldermen and the firefighters union, are just not true.

"It claims some sort of conspiracy going on and names me conspiring with two firefighters, which one of them, I don't believe I've ever met. I'm not sure who he is, " Wendt said in an interview with WQAD-TV on Wednesday. "Never was any of this discussed," he said.

Wendt says the sexual harassment case referenced in Allen's lawsuit  was handled long before any of the aldermen named in the suit were even on the council.

Allen's attorney says he filed the suit because he feels like the launch of the time card investigation was the last straw. "He wants the retaliation to stop," she said.