Fire inspector's suit against Anne Arundel allowed to go forward

March 27, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by an Anne Arundel County fire inspector who said he was denied promotions because county officials would not accommodate his learning disability on a mandatory written examination.

Robert T. Parker Jr. sued the county government in March last year, contending that officials violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when they denied his request for a tutor or extra time to complete the test that could have promoted him to the rank of first lieutenant.

County officials asked U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson to throw out the lawsuit, arguing in court papers that local governments should have immunity in such cases. In a ruling published Thursday, Nickerson rejected the county's argument and said the case could go forward.

Parker said in court papers that the stress associated with testing exacerbates his learning disability. He said he failed the promotion examination six times between 1986 and 1997. He took the exam in 1999 after county officials refused his request for assistance and he failed again, court papers state.

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