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      Former Columbia police lieutenant sues the city

      A former Columbia police lieutenant is suing the city after losing his job following medical leave for mental health treatment.

      A former Columbia police lieutenant is suing the city after losing his job following medical leave for mental health treatment.

      The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Chris Kelley filed a federal lawsuit in July against the city, police Chief Ken Burton and a former deputy chief. Kelley was in charge of downtown patrols.

      Kelley claims his firing violated the federal Family Medical Leave Act. The lawsuit says Kelley spent five days at University Hospital in October 2012 "in connection with issues of paranoia and unusual behavior."

      Kelley says he was approved for medical leave and told by Burton that his reinstatement would be based on results of a fitness-for-duty evaluation. A city medical adviser later determined that Kelley was unfit.

      The city's attorney expects outside counsel to handle the case.