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Weighing in

A weekly look at reader comments and reactions to the news

Spokane police Sgt. Brad Thoma, fired last week after a drunken hit-and-run crash in September while off duty, now wants $4 million from taxpayers for what he contends was the city’s failure to accommodate his struggle with alcoholism. Many readers found the development troubling while others were critical of the decision to dismiss him from the force. Here’s a sampling of the postings.

Laurelpoff: Give me a break. You are supposed to uphold the laws and you have broken them. Why should the city have you on their payroll? This is a lawsuit that has no merit.

Mr. Natural: This punishment does not fit the crime, and yet if you stagger out of a gay bar at 2 a.m. and shoot wildly and hit a Native American in the head in the middle of a residential neighborhood then lie to authorities about it you go free… Spokane justice is so convoluted and inequitable for its police officers. Best of luck Mr. Thoma.

Johnclarke: I guess we should accommodate drug addicts as police officers as well. This suit should be tossed.

Screwball: This was a good call by (police Chief Anne) Kirkpatrick. She is right he cannot do his job if he cannot drive a car without a Breathalyzer attached to it. Police officers have to be held to the standards any normal person may have to bear in the same circumstances, or it is a double standard, which we have had in this town far too long.

Ebyrnes: Chief Kirkpatrick made the right decision since this officer could no longer fulfill his duties. Although the prosecuting attorney failed us, the citizens of Spokane, in this case Chief Kirkpatrick earned our trust through the way she handled this case.

Ninch: Only “reasonable” accommodations are required for people with disabilities, including alcoholism. Driving a patrol car (with or without an interlock device) is not reasonable and in fact is wishful thinking. This claim will not play well in the judicial system because there were “reasonable” alternatives offered.

Empyrius: So does this mean I can get my felony convictions vacated b/c I have been alcoholic since childhood (b/c every time I got in trouble I was drunk!)? Alright! I am going to take a few bong hits and go apply for my police officer job! I won’t smoke on the job! Protect and serve: I got it! Peace out dudes!

Gyrusx: Spokane police continues to prove sheer incompetence and narcissistic entitlement day after day. This case would set the ground for allowing drunk dentists, surgeons, lawyers and pilots to continue their jobs.