YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A former East Liverpool police officer filed a civil rights suit Monday in federal court, alleging the city and department fired him for reporting on misconduct by fellow officers to the FBI.

Christopher Green, of Columbiana, filed the suit in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio. He is represented by Youngstown attorney Martin P. Desmond and Cleveland attorneys Donald Screen and Subodh Chandra.

The case has been assigned to U.S. Judge John R. Adams. There have been no hearing dates set, according to court records.

Green was placed on leave in March 2021 after an investigation into a fight call he answered involving former Safety Service Director Brian Allen.

Green was fired in June 2021 after police officials said Green lied about what happened during the fight. He appealed the firing, but it was upheld by an arbitrator.

In his suit, Green says he was fired after engaging “in constitutionally protected free speech — as a private citizen — by reporting misconduct and criminal behavior by other police officers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

The suit said after Green made his reports, Mayor Gregory Bricker, Safety Service Director David Dawson, Captains Fred Flati, Darin Morgan and Chad Tatgenhorst as well as officer Robert Ramsey retaliated against him by making false complaints against him, which led to Green being suspended and ultimately fired.

Bricker, Dawson and the police officers were also named defendants in the suit.

Green’s attorney Marty Desmond said the concern is corruption.

“What Chris spoke about is something of great public concern. And as we stated in the complaint, that concern is corruption within the local police department,” Desmond said.

Another piece of the lawsuit involves a social media post by Green deemed disparaging by the police department, which led to his termination. Desmond says Green’s social media post is not a fireable offense.

“A silly little post, that everyone took as a joke on social media, as grounds for your termination. There’s something wrong there,” Desmond said.

YSU Professor of Communications Dr. Adam Earnheardt said social media is complicated when it comes to the law.

“Social media and the use of it is still, generally, new to us, and how we use it to vent our grievances,” he said.

Earnheardt says many outcomes are possible for the lawsuit, but people should think about their personal uses of social media pertaining to their job.

“First Amendment protections don’t grant you the right to say everything and anything you want, especially in cases where there are policies. But organizations need to constantly re-review their policies to make sure that they are addressing all of these potential outcomes,’ Earnheardt said.

Green and Mayor Bricker could not comment on the lawsuit at this time.

Green is seeking compensatory damages including back pay as well as punitive damages.

In 2017, Green became severely ill after handling fentanyl during a traffic stop. It took him several months to recover.