Former DCI Agent Appeals His Firing

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A former DCI agent, who says he was wrongfully fired back in 2014, is appealing his case to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

Mark Black, who was at today’s Supreme Court hearing in Aberdeen, was hired by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation back in 2005.

Black entered the DCI as an experienced law enforcement officer, and was eventually recognized as one of DCI’s best agents. 
 
“My client was awarded the distinguished service award in 2009, I hardly think the DCI would give that award out, the first ever by the way, to a person who they felt was unable to control his emotions,” Black’s attorney, Timothy Whalen said.

According to the DCI, Black’s success and performance was overshadowed by accounts of emotional instability and lapses in judgment. Black was going through a rough divorce at the time and had been served a protection order and was put on administrative leave. 
 
“I think his supervisors certainly had the ability, the experience and the knowledge to make the determination that his acts justified discipline,” DCI’s attorney, Robert B. Anderson said. 
 
“Nothing that happened with my client affected his fitness for work or his ability to do his job,” Whalen said.

Because of the protection order, Black was required to surrender his weapons, and since he could no longer carry a firearm, he was let go. 
 
“I would argue to you, the very same character traits that made Mark Black a great agent, are what the DCI relied upon to fire him,” Anderson said.

The Supreme Court will issue a ruling in the case at a later date.

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