Michael Doyle reports:
Former Charleston police officer Timothy Reed mobilized for war, more than once. Then the Navy shared some sensitive information, and he was out of a job.
Now the resident of Goose Creek is in federal court in Washington, challenging the military he once served. Money and several reputations are on the line in a case that’s just been given new life.
“It really has cost him his job as a police officer,” David Sheldon, Reed’s attorney, said of the Navy’s actions, adding that Reed may “not be employable again” in a police department.
Reed’s legal dispute underscores the potential tensions between privacy rights and public protection, as well as the problems that can result when reservists return from the fight. More than 815,000 members of the National Guard and reserves, like Reed, have been mobilized since 2001. Every one has had to re-enter civilian life, sometimes with complications.
Reed, who was honorably discharged after 18 years of active-duty and reserve service, has alleged that Navy officials violated his privacy by telling the Charleston Police Department about an episode in which he was disciplined and underwent a psychological evaluation. He subsequently resigned from the police department in 2009, a move he now says he felt unjustly pressured to make.
“The Navy,” Sheldon said, “seems to have a serious problem complying with the Privacy Act.”
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