A former Tisbury police lieutenant has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the town claiming civil rights violations and breach of contract, among other things.

Lieut. Eerik Meisner joined the force in 2013 and left his employment with the town in January.

In a 19-page complaint filed August 14 in U.S. District Court, he claims he was wrongfully terminated by police chief Mark Saloio, who began work in November 2018 and is named as a defendant along with the town. The complaint seeks $1.2 million in damages as well as attorney’s fees. It details a series of allegations, including that Mr. Meisner was passed over for police chief when he applied for the job and subsequently demoted and then fired without cause.

After former chief Daniel Hanavan retired last spring, Mr. Meisner applied for the position; in the complaint he said he completed a certificate in public administration in order to fill the role. Mr. Meisner further alleged that the town and Chief Saloio retaliated against him after he had called attention to wrongdoing in the department involving a former employee.

In the complaint he said the termination has caused economic loss, emotional distress and loss of reputation.

Contacted by email, Tisbury town administrator Jay Grande said he could not comment on legal or personnel matters.