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Former Fire Chief Michael Dworning was granted approval to proceed with a workplace discrimination lawsuit against the city.

The Ohio Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday, upheld a previous ruling by the 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals which agreed that Dworning’s civil lawsuit could move forward without first going through the city’s Civil Service Commission.

The city along with a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge had argued – that city employees such as Dworning were required to complete an administrative appeals process before taking civil action against the city involving employment issues.

Chris Frey, City Law Director, was unhappy with Tuesday’s ruling. The city will attempt to settle the case out of court, he said.

Dworning sued the city and several others in 2004, alleging he was fired because of a disability, in violation of the city’s anti-discrimination provisions.

But city officials dispute Dworning’s claim that he was fired. Frey said Dworning retired and has collected in excess of $60,000 of retirement benefits that he would not have gotten had he been fired.

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