PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – A western Pennsylvania police chief claims he was wrongly fired for testifying truthfully against an underling who allegedly tried to keep another officer from charging a township commissioner in a road-rage incident.

Andrew Lisiecki was police chief in North Huntingdon Township when four of seven township commissioners voted to fire him in September.

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“A political faction of the board of commissioners engaged in a pattern of retaliation that culminated in Chief Lisecki’s termination of employment,” Lisecki’s lawyer, Timothy O’Brien, said.

Lisiecki contends in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday that he was fired for testifying truthfully in hearings that led an arbitrator to uphold the firing of an officer allied with those commissioners, William Sombo, in March 2015.

Sombo isn’t being sued.

“When a citizen takes upon themselves the oath to tell the truth, and they perform that oath the way they should, then they can’t lose their jobs,” O’Brien said.

Lisecki’s suit accuses the four commissioners of using excessive scrutiny, making false accusations, publicly demeaning and making false and defamatory statements about the chief.

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Lisecki claims they called him names in public.

“[They called me] a liar, and then another commissioner called me a professional liar without any basis,” Lisecki said.

Lisiecki is seeking unspecified damages. He claims he’s applied for 22 jobs since his firing, but hasn’t been hired despite more than 30 years’ experience.

“I filed multiple applications for jobs for part time positions, making $10 an hour as a police officer. Haven’t heard back from one,” Lisecki said.

One of the commissioners named in the suit is Tony Martino, president of the North Huntingdon board. In an email to KDKA, Commissioner Martino said he hasn’t heard about the suit or seen it, and he has no comment.

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