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Sleeping McPherson Cop Wins Lawsuit

Associated Press - October 17, 2014 6:13 am

The last of five defendants in the death of a Pittsburg State University student has been sentenced.

A federal jury has awarded nearly $1 million in wages and damages to a former McPherson police officer who was fired after being found asleep on duty.

Jurors found the city of McPherson discriminated against Matthew B. Michaels on account of a disability of sleep apnea.

A court judgment filed Wednesday orders the city to pay $921,657 — plus interest, court costs and attorney’s fees. That amount includes back and future wages as well as damages for pain and suffering.

Attorney Ray Simmons said in an email Thursday that Michaels is pleased to get a “name-clearing hearing” in federal court where a jury rendered a verdict in his favor.

McPherson City Attorney Jeff Houston said the city planned to ask the judge to overturn the verdict and, failing that, planned to appeal.