Milwaukee Police Sgt. on duty disability files lawsuit against city

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- FOX6 News has learned Jason Mucha -- a police sergeant currently off the job after he filed for duty disability has now filed a lawsuit against the city of Milwaukee and others.

Mucha's lawsuit is filed against the city of Milwaukee, the city of Milwaukee Employees' Retirement System, the city of Milwaukee Employees' Retirement System's executive director, and two Milwaukee police officials (a lieutenant and a captain).

Mucha was the Milwaukee Police Sergeant in charge of a Milwaukee Police District 5 unit that has had four officers convicted in a case involving illegal strip searches.

Mucha has never been charged in connection with the illegal strip searches.

Mucha is on duty disability, after doctors determined he suffers from "major mental trauma" from the stress of media reports from cases he has been involved with. Doctors say Mucha is mentally unstable, and unable to work.

Mucha is bringing this lawsuit for two reasons. One, because he feels he was unjustly detained for mental treatment -- something he says was done in an attempt to "deny his duty disability benefit application process." Two, because he believes his medical records were shared with the Milwaukee Police Department without his consent.

The lawsuit says an evaluation of Mucha by a doctor, completed in October of 2012 was submitted by Mucha's doctor to the Milwaukee Employees' Retirement System, which administers health insurance, retirement, disability and pension benefits for city employees.

Eventually, reports from Mucha's evaluation were forwarded by the Employees' Retirement System to the Milwaukee Police Department, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says these reports contained statements provided by Mucha during his doctor evaluation that he had "thoughts of suicide by cop" and had thoughts of "attending a command staff meeting with a rifle and shooting them until they shot him." Mucha further indicated he did not intend to do that.

The lawsuit says that at no time did Mucha's doctor contact any law enforcement agency believing Mucha was a danger to himself or any third person -- much less initiating an involuntary commitment for mental observation.

In November of 2012, the lawsuit says two uniformed officers -- an MPD captain and an MPD lieutenant (named as defendants in the lawsuit) showed up to Mucha's home and displayed their badges for the purpose of seeking Mucha's detention for an involuntary mental observation.

Members of the Tactical Unit were also dispatched. The lawsuit states this was done because during his evaluation, Mucha made several statements of suicidal thoughts -- as well as a statement of shooting members of the police department -- specifically stating he had thoughts of "suicide by cop."

The lawsuit says during the evaluation, Mucha had said he "could not go back to work," and said he "could not take a chance of them trying to get him as that could have a real bad ending." Mucha also referred to the "many guns at his home."

A Milwaukee Police official at Mucha's home that day (and named as a defendant in the lawsuit) said Mucha's doctor had passed information on Mucha to MPD -- but that is apparently not the case, according to Mucha's lawsuit.

The lawsuit says Mucha's doctor submitted reports from his evaluation to the Milwaukee Employees' Retirement system -- and says the evaluation reports were not forwarded to MPD under the direction of Mucha's doctor.

The lawsuit says Mucha believes the only reason for the Employees' Retirement System to have contacted the Milwaukee Police Department to initiate the involuntary commitment against Mucha was "for the purpose of punishing Mucha for initiating a duty disability application" and "to discredit Mucha's application so as to attempt to establish a reason to deny it."

The MPD official said upon speaking with Mucha at his home in November of 2012, Mucha said "the thoughts of suicide and hurting other people were only dreams" -- saying he had no intention of hurting himself or anyone else.

Nonetheless, Mucha was involuntarily seized, handcuffed and conveyed in an MPD vehicle to the Milwaukee County Mental Health Facility -- where he stayed for three days.

The lawsuit says a doctor there determined there was no basis to detain Mucha for an involuntary mental observation.

FOX6 News has previously reported Mucha had nine of his personal weapons confiscated, because officials feared his mental state. They were eventually returned to him.

The lawsuit says Mucha has suffered "emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of reputation, embarrassment, and humiliation.

Mucha is demanding compensatory and punitive damages, and a trial by jury.