A tort claim filed by former Chief Financial Officer, Michael Romero alleging that the City of Miami was in violation of Oklahoma State law when it drug tested him on Aug.15, 2011 was filed Feb. 23.
Specifically Romero's tort claim says that this testing violates Oklahoma Statute Title 40, Section 551 which specifies exactly which employees of public employers may be randomly drug tested.
Romero's claim states,“The random drug and alcohol testing by the City of Miami of an administrative employee was a violation of civil rights under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution as well as Oklahoma Constitution's Article II, Section 30 which bears “broader” rights than the Fourth Amendment.”
He claims that the random drug and alcohol testing by the City of Miami of an administrative employee caused the City to commit a common-law tort invasion of privacy by intrusion upon seclusion.
Romero claims that the City of Miami had been on notice by law that this sort of random drug and alcohol testing was illegal as well as that the City's previous attorney Erik Johnson, had delivered a legal opinion notifying city officials of the illegality and infringement of rights by this type of testing.
The tort goes on to claim that the City of Miami was negligent in the hiring of Nancy Wells as its Human Resources Director because the claim said she does not possess education or a background in Human Resources.
Romero's claim also states that the City was negligent in paying thousands of dollars to MESO( Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma) to conduct random testing upon its employees. MESO is a statewide trade association of municipally owned electric distribution utilities that provides a variety of services to its member cities including drug testing.
The tort claim was filed also naming Mayor Kent Ketcher, City Councilmen Rudy Schultz, Terry Atkinson, Scott Trussler and John Dalgarn in the claim.
Romero said, “I made an open record request for the scientific method the city uses for randomly selecting employees for drug testing and like other open record requests, the city clerk has told me the records could not be provided until the city attorney makes a review...this is an open records violation. Everything that I allege is in the tort claim.”
Miami's City Attorney David Anderson said that although copies of the tort claim have been delivered to the Miami City Council members, “The claims have not been formally presented to the City Council by me.”
Anderson said he will probably put it on the next City Council agenda to be discussed in closed session with him and that he might be able to comment after that discussion takes place.