Jonathan Blazek may not have his day in
court after all.
The former city of Lakewood employee was fired for drinking on the job — driving a snowplow truck — in March 2012.
Blazek, a self-admitted alcoholic, then filed a complaint in federal court alleging discrimination based on his alcoholism. He’s seeking reinstatement, full back pay, and attorney fees.
However, Lakewood’s law department has filed a summary judgment, asking that the case be thrown out.
“(Blazek) will have the ability to respond to our motion for summary judgment,” said Kevin Butler, the city’s law director. “If that motion is granted, then some or all of Mr. Blazek’s claims would be thrown out. We’re asking that they’re all thrown out.”
The city hired an outside law firm to defend the case.
“Our intention is to defend it fully, as we have every step of the way,” Butler told Lakewood Patch earlier this year.
“He was not terminated based on his alcoholism. He was terminated because he was found to have consumed alcohol while on duty.”
Four hours into his shift on March 13, 2012, Blazek failed a breathalyzer test, registering .132 blood-alcohol content — twice the legal limit and more than six times the city’s allowable limit.
“He’s admitted these facts,” Butler said. “The fact of the matter is that it isn’t because he is an alcoholic — it’s that he was drunk on the job.”
Several years ago, Euclid Fire Chief Michael Dworning filed a similar lawsuit in 2006 against his former employer after he resigned from his post.
In its decision, the Ohio Supreme Court sided with the city of Euclid.