DETROIT – A Michigan State Police trooper said he's being discriminated against because of a story he told at an alcoholics anonymous meeting.
One of the key sayings in alcoholics anonymous is, "What you see here, what you hear here, stays here."
It's that secrecy that helps people who are trying to recovery share their stories. But when MSP Trooper Craig Tuer shared his story at an AA meeting, his supervisors found out and declared him unfit for duty.
At the meeting, Tuer said some of his colleagues were drinking at an out-of-town training session and were driving state cars, but it's everything that happened to him after the AA meeting that's part of his lawsuit.
Tuer isn't an alcoholic. He's got a doctor's report that says so. He said he attended AA because he was concerned his off-duty drinking was getting excessive.
"My client of his own volition went to AA," said Jim Fett, Tuer's attorney. "He wasn't ordered (to go). He's fine."
But after somebody at Tuer's AA meeting reported his comments to the state police, an investigation got underway into his colleagues in his unit. Tuer came forward to let his supervisors know his comments at AA were likely the impetus for the investigation.
Michigan State Police then launched an investigation into whether Tuer was the source, and Tuer said he became misterable during his time at work. He filed Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints and was then declared unfit for duty.
His union backed him up, and he's prevailed at the EEOC and at arbitration. Now he's suing for discrimination and retaliation.
Tuer is barred from speaking to the media about his case, but Fett said "despite what command might say, you are an individual that has privacy rights, even if you are a state trooper, and that the agency is not above the law."
Michigan State Police said Tuer has not been discriminated against, and that they followed all procedures. They said they intend to "vigorously" defend themselves in the case.